# What is eCDN?



What is eCDN and How it helps scale enterprise video delivery [2020 updated]

This is the complete guide to eCDN. We will cover the following:


Contents


What is eCDN?

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.

eCDN vs CDN

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.

Why do enterprises find it hard to scale video delivery?

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.

How does eCDN solve the problem?

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.

Type of eCDN solutions

Solution 1 – Caching Servers

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.


Pros:
  • A mature method that has been around for several decades.
Cons:
  • Requires installation of physical servers on all sites - additional expenses.
  • Player needs to be reconfigured to point to the right cache server for each employee.
  • Capacity is limited by the amount of deployed servers.

Solution 2 – Multicast

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.


Pros:
  • Can support extremely low latency
Cons:
  • Requires compatible network components.
  • Requires proper configuration of multicast subnets.
  • Requires a custom non-browser client that can consume the multicast stream.

Solution 3 – P2P – Peer to Peer

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.


Pros:
  • No physical installation requirements.
  • Capacity grows with viewership
  • There is no need for specific end-user software in order to view the content.
  • This method allows companies to utilize its existing network capacity without the need to expand.
Cons:
  • Requires a WebRTC compatible browser (92.9% globally compatible, IE is not supported)

eCDN Pricing Models

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:

  • Frequency of live streams
  • Number of viewers
  • custom configurations and features
Contact us for more information

About Peer5

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 was designed from scratch for WebRTC, written completely in JavaScript. We contribute to the WebRTC community and are active members of the W3C steering committee.


Peer5 is backed by Y Combinator and additional top Silicon Valley investors.



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FAQ’s

What is an eCDN?

An eCDN, by definition, is an Enterprise Content Delivery Network. It is a technology that delivers high quality video within your enterprise.

How do I know if my enterprise needs an eCDN?

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.

What are the most popular days for video streaming enterprise events?

The graph below shows a high-level distribution of enterprise events by days of the week. Enterprise events' distribution graph 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.

What is the most popular time of day for video streaming events?

Enterprise events distribution graph by time of day 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.

What is a good rebuffering rate?

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.

I’ve been meaning to implement a new eCDN solution, but is it worth the money and effort?

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!

What is enterprise CDN’s pricing model?

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