Optimized Video Delivery on the ProxySG appliance distributes Flash video as a single stream to multiple users, increasing stability and performance.
Blue Coat enhanced its ProxySG network optimization
appliance with Optimized Video Delivery to improve live video streaming within
the enterprise, the company said on Oct. 25.
Blue Coat added the ability to split a single Flash video
stream to multiple viewers in a single location to avoid "video floods."
Video floods are caused when multiple users at a single
location try to access the same online video. The company's Internet
gateway or WAN gets saturated trying to serve up multiple streams,
preventing other critical applications from performing properly.
"With the pervasiveness of video, companies need a way to
protect their networks from being overrun, as well as a way to effectively distribute
video for business purposes," said Mark Urban, senior director of product
marketing of the WAN optimization
solutions group at Blue Coat Systems.
The stream-split technology serves a single Flash video
to a large number of viewers, enabling video scalability and freeing up network
bandwidth while still maintaining video quality, Urban said.
Blue Coat's "send once, serve many" stream-splitting
includes support for Adobe Flash Real-Time Messaging Protocol
Microsoft Windows Media MMS- and RTSP-based streaming media, the company said
in a statement.
A key challenge for companies is to get live video
employees without stressing the already overburdened network. Companies are
increasingly looking to use live video internally, for training, team building
and communications purposes, both at headquarters and through the branch
offices, Urban said.
Several departments accessing the training video at the
same time, or employees tuning into a CEO chat broadcast to the entire company can
bring the rest of the network down to a crawl and prevent other departments
from getting any work done.
"Blue Coat takes a comprehensive approach to WAN
optimization, realizing that simply applying acceleration to email or file
access while ignoring video will not ensure that business-critical applications
perform well across the enterprise," Urban said.
With Optimized Video Delivery, live video events are
distributed throughout the enterprise by reducing them to a single video stream
for each branch office that are split at the remote site to serve all employees
in that office, the company said.
As more viewers tune in to an event already in progress,
the ProxySG appliance
automatically adds the viewers to an existing stream
instead of starting a new stream. The video load on the Internet gateway or the
WAN link is minimized.
According to Blue Coat, external video on the WAN
frequently consumes 30-60 percent of the bandwidth. That is not surprising, as
video--whether as video-heavy applications or streaming media--comprises 52
percent of worldwide Internet traffic, according to a report from market research firm TeleGeography
Streaming media alone accounts for a significant chunk of traffic, with 18
percent, the report said.
Traditional accelerating technologies
aren't enough to
remedy sluggish performance at the branch office because video is overwhelming
the WAN, Blue Coat said.
"Video caching and stream-splitting are two important
technologies that help enable the adoption of video in the enterprise while
managing its impact on the WAN or Internet gateway," said Joe Skorupa, Research
vice president with market research firm Gartner.
Optimized Video Delivery automatically minimizes
bandwidth impact for both on-demand and live video regardless of whether it's
being served from the Web or internally, the company said.
Enterprise content delivery networking (eCDN) is possible
with the ProxySG appliance, said Blue Coat. On-demand video can be cached
locally at the branch office after the first person requests it, or even
pre-populated at branch office locations during off-peak periods. Viewers
access the cache to view the stream without impacting the WAN.
IT managers can also prioritize video traffic to create
Web policy to distinguish YouTube and other Internet-based business video
channels from other miscellaneous and recreational streams, the company said.