This is the complete guide to eCDN. We will cover the following:
Training, all hands meetings, town hall meetings, webcasts, and so on are crucial in the operation of large enterprises. However, nothing causes an employee’s mind to wander and lose interest as much as an unreliable video with high latency and disruptive buffering. A reliable enterprise video streaming solution is mandatory, especially since employees are used to the flawless streaming experience they get on services like Netflix and Youtube.
Outside of the enterprise, traditional CDNs (Content Delivery Networks) are used to distribute the content closer to the end-user to increase the performance. While eCDN (Enterprise CDN) uses the same technological concept, it solves a very different problem.
Big enterprises usually set up a corporate network for each of their office sites that connects the employees to the internet as well as to the company's internal services. Corporate networks are usually very fast and support high bandwidth, but their connection to the outer world (the internet) is often limited in bandwidth and capacity.
So to put it short, eCDN is a CDN like solution that works around limited corporate network downlink to allow broadcasting of video to large company audiences.
Whenever an internal event takes place, such as an all-hands meeting or a webcast, all the employees will connect to the cloud service and attempt to stream the video at the same time. Decent video quality uses around 1 Mbps, so 5,000 employees will consume 5 Gbps. Does the corporate network have a 5 Gbps downlink from the internet? Not necessarily. Now consider the implications if there are, say 20k employees streaming video at the same time.
Given the high expectations for video quality today, typical network downlink capacities simply cannot withstand thousands of HD video streams, it's technically impossible.
To solve that problem, various providers offer multiple solutions to get the video served closer to the end-users and within the corporate network to avoid network saturation.
The following is a discussion of some typical methods used to address this problem in an enterprise environment.
These are very similar to classic CDN edges but the servers are installed within the corporate network and all of the traffic in the target network is directed to that local server. The content is then downloaded once to the cache server and served internally to all of the employees.
This makes use of the old IP Multicasting feature that allows distributing information by network components. The routers and switches in the corporate network are configured to re-distribute video packets that are sent to a specialized address. Each employee then receives the repeated video packets and plays the video.
In a P2P setup, each viewer can download the video from the cloud, but also can send the content to another viewer. That means only a small portion of the viewers actually download the video from the cloud and the majority of data goes between viewers within the corporate network.
It’s possible to connect each viewer to several other viewers to create a Mesh network of peers that exchange video parts in real-time. Connecting to multiple other peers also increases the reliability since there are multiple alternative sources to download the video from.
It has been said that a peer to peer video streaming based solution is able to scale to demand in an “elastic way” since the more viewers, the more capacity.
Pricing of enterprise CDNs varies depending on a number of factors. Some offer a pay-as-you-go plan, while others offer an annual subscription model. Your choice is obviously dictated by your specific business needs. The following factors affect the pricing you will end up with:
Peer5 offers a WebRTC based P2P eCDN that runs in-browser to solve congestion issues. Our mesh networks are self-balancing and automatically scale as the number of viewers rises. Since it is a WebRTC based eCDN it doesn't require any installation on end-users computers nor changes to the physical network infrastructure. Instead, we integrate with any existing player within the event web page.
Peer5 is backed by Y Combinator and additional top Silicon Valley investors.
An eCDN, by definition, is an Enterprise Content Delivery Network. It is a technology that delivers high quality video within your enterprise.
If your enterprise serves thousands of employees, and you care about their video experience (either on-demand or live broadcast) and real-time corporate communications, you definitely need an eCDN.
The graph below shows a high-level distribution of enterprise events by days of the week. Statistically, video streaming of large enterprise events peaks on Mondays and Wednesdays, while Thursdays have the most events in total. This means that without an eCDN solution, internal network speeds in an enterprise will be compromised on these days.
This graph shows that peak demand on internal enterprise network resources is not evenly distributed over a workday, but rather, that most video streaming events take place between 8:00 and 10:00 and then again between 12:00 and 14:00. Again, without an eCDN solution, there will be negative implications for the speed of the corporate network during these times.
Rebuffering refers to playback stalls - the spinning wheel while you wait for the video to “catch up”. Rebuffering rate is the percentage of the total video time where the stream has stalled. For example, if a 60-second video stalls for 6 seconds, that would work out to a 10% rebuffering rate. A rebuffering rate of less than 1% is considered good. Around 1% rebuffering rate is average and above 5% is unacceptable. A good rebuffering rate is crucial in preventing high viewer abandonment during an event.
It is. The costs associated with inefficient bandwidth usage far outweigh the upfront cost of a new solution. Many companies think about eCDN only after they experience an outage in a big event, but eCDN can be implemented beforehand to avoid problems all together. The best part is that you only need a modern internet browser to get started!
An eCDN pricing model depends on the type of eCDN and the number of users. Pricing of caching server and multicasting eCDNs will compound costs as the hardware is needed on top of the service. However, In the P2P eCDN business model, a WebRTC CDN is ready to go as soon as your enterprise is ready to deploy WebRTC video streaming and without having to change your preferred enterprise video streaming platform. Want to hear more? Let's talk