Blue Coat Systems, Inc., the technology leader in Application Delivery Networking, today announced its Blue Coat® ProxySG® WAN optimization product now fully integrates Optimized Video Delivery, including the world’s first capability to “stream-split” video delivered live with Adobe® Flash® technology. With stream-split technology, a single video stream can serve a large number of viewers in each location, enabling video scalability, providing quality viewing and freeing bandwidth on the Wide Area Network (WAN) for other business-critical applications.
Blue Coat Optimized Video Delivery utilizes a combination of stream-splitting and caching technologies to prevent “video floods” that are caused when Internet video saturates a company’s WAN or Internet gateway and keeps other applications from performing properly. At the same time, Optimized Video Delivery also allows companies to expand the use of video internally for business content, training and communications without increasing bandwidth capacity. Optimized Video Delivery automatically minimizes bandwidth impact and improves user experience for the following types of video traffic:
• On-demand video internal to the company or from the Web
• Live streaming video from internal sources or from the Web
“Companies want to use more live video internally and also need to contend with video from the Web, but both can undermine networks,” said Joe Skorupa, Research VP, Gartner. “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.”
Live Web video has been growing at a substantial rate. According to a new report from Telegeography, streaming media now accounts for 18 percent of worldwide Internet traffic, and, together with other video-heavy applications, comprises 52 percent of worldwide Internet traffic. Many television stations around the world offer live video streams, and a growing number of Web sites allow users to stream live video directly from their mobile phones to users.
External video on the WAN frequently consumes 30-60 percent of the bandwidth at various times, frequently slowing or even stopping business-critical applications from functioning properly. Traditional WAN optimization solutions that rely on general-purpose acceleration technologies alone are not enough to remedy sluggish or incapacitated application performance in branch offices resulting from heavy video traffic.
At the same time, as external video compromises the performance of their business-critical applications companies want to use more live and on-demand video internally for training, communication, teambuilding and other purposes. Making such content available to employees in branch offices remains a challenge for many organizations given the constraints of an already-overburdened WAN.
The Blue Coat WAN optimization solution with Optimized Video Delivery helps companies perform key tasks, including:
• Distributing or scaling live video events and CEO or executive chats throughout the enterprise by reducing them to a single video stream for each branch office that is “split” at the remote site to serve all employees in that office;
• Transparently and automatically adding branch office viewers to an existing stream for a live video event already in progress;
• Providing cached “video on demand” for both Internet and corporate video, that dramatically reduces WAN traffic and serves content instantly from remote site video caches;
• Enabling enterprise content delivery networking (eCDN) to pre-populate large media files to branch office locations during off-peak periods;
• Minimizing the impact of “video floods,” where employees watching live video events over the Web (e.g. breaking news, major events) saturate WAN links and prevent business-critical applications from operating. Through an “optimize but control” approach, that first reduces bandwidth via caching and stream splitting, and also provides QoS controls to contain traffic for assured performance of mission critical applications;
• Utilizing smart Web policy to help companies to distinguish their own YouTube channels and other Internet-based business video channels from broader consumer and recreational offerings.
Blue Coat “send once, serve many” stream-splitting includes support for Real-Time Messaging Protocol (RTMP) on the Adobe Flash Platform and Microsoft Windows Media MMS- and RTSP-based streaming media. This capability scales video and reduces the strain on the most constrained portion of enterprise networks—the Internet gateway or WAN link.
In addition to optimization and delivery of live video, ProxySG appliances can optimize, scale and minimize the impact of on-demand video from the Web or internal sources. On-demand video, including progressively downloaded video using the Flash Platform such as YouTube, is stored or “cached” locally at the branch office after the first person requests it. Subsequent viewers can access the content locally without impacting the WAN. In addition, internal content can be distributed automatically, typically at night when network usage is low, to avoid straining the WAN during peak business activity.
“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 Nigel Hawthorn, VP EMEA Marketing at Blue Coat Systems. “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.”
For more information visit bluecoat.com/.