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Edgeware feature replaces load balancers

Tue, 06/04/2013 - 1:56pm
Brian Santo

Edgeware has added a feature to its video delivery platform that it says allows cable operators to dispense with separate and costly load balancing systems.

Edgeware’s Origin Selector option for its Distributed Video Delivery Network (D-VDN) Solution provides scalable load balancing and redundancy across multiple video origin servers, located in either the service provider’s own headend or in an external content provider’s network, the company said.

The Origin Selector option in the Edgeware D-VDN Solution enables intelligent distribution of content collection requests over multiple origin servers, obviating the need for load balancers.

Origin servers can be grouped into virtual clusters and can be co-located or geographically distributed. All cache-miss requests from the D-VDN are spread across these virtual clusters to provide scale and redundancy.

Therefore if an origin server becomes unavailable, collection requests are instantly re-routed to an alternative node within the virtual cluster without interruption of the service. Fallback is instantaneous when the failed node is re-instated, Edgeware said.

The approach addresses a common situation, Edgeware explained. Most multiscreen TV and video services today make use of adaptive bit rate (ABR) streaming to achieve uninterrupted viewing over wireless connections or unmanaged networks. In this environment, content is first transcoded, packaged and encrypted before publication to origin servers. Then, the video delivery network (VDN) typically collects content from these origin servers for delivery to consumers.

However, as traffic levels grow, origin servers can quickly become a bottleneck, especially for live channels where they are required to simultaneously receive and deliver multiple contiguous streams. The typical solution has been to employ load balancers to distribute traffic over clusters of multiple origin servers and ensure redundancy in the event of a node failure.

If a layer of caching servers have already been deployed in the headend to accelerate on-demand requests from the origin servers, the Origin Selector can be used in conjunction with Edgeware’s content-aware clustering to distribute on-demand cache-miss requests according to content. With this combination, the storage in each headend cache is effectively combined. This increases its effectiveness and provides further origin offload, especially for large video on demand (VOD) back catalogues or catch-up TV archives, Edgeware explained.

“We have seen multiple cases where origin scaling becomes the bottleneck in premium multiscreen services, creating chaos in an operators’ network,” said Jon Haley, VP product marketing and business development at Edgeware. “By incorporating the origin load balancing into the Video Delivery Network, Edgeware can help service and content providers overcome this in an extremely affordable manner.”

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