Cloud-based visual applications and services such as live high-quality video streaming, immersive reality AR/VR, media processing, and analytics are becoming extremely popular.
According to a YouTube press release, YouTube is the largest video streaming platform in the world, with over one billion users, which is almost a third of the entire world’s internet users. In fact, according to the London CNN, Netflix and YouTube had to reduce the streaming quality of their services within Europe during March 2020, to reduce the chances of the entire Internet collapsing during the Coronavirus pandemic.
The service and communication providers know about this and are already implementing CDNs (Content Delivery Networks), to decentralize the Internet dependency. With a CDN, the storage, computing, and networking resources are closer to the end-user.
Challenges: Most CDNs are not optimized for the high demand for most of these visual services. They cannot guarantee availability, security, and, most importantly, these CDNs are not tailored to provide higher visual performance.
Solution: Lanner’s NCA-6210 is a video transport gateway for next-generation Visual Content Delivery Networks. It is a high performance, highly scalable, and fully redundant solution for the next-generation visual CDN. This appliance acts as the video transit gateway by providing seamless delivery of video services.
The First Generation CDN Challenges
Regular data transmissions over the open Internet do not usually meet the tight requirements for high-quality media streaming. In the context of media delivery, the cloud server doing the computing, storage, and network connectivity, is usually geographically far away from the end-user. So, streaming high-quality video or 4K from a cloud server tends to be nearly impossible.
Transmitting streaming packets over long distances across the open Internet is an invitation for packet loss, high latencies, jittered traffic, uneven deliveries, and buffering; aspects which are unacceptable for today’s high-quality video streams.
Introducing a First-gen Content Delivery Network (CDN) and its Challenges.
A CDN (Content Delivery Network) is a system of geographically distributed servers that aim to decentralize cloud computing and attempt to bring more resources closer to the end-user. CDN improves the geographical presence of a service and delivers faster website content, from videos, images, scripts, HTML files, etc.
The CDN provides an acceptable level of video streaming quality. It overcomes those Internet issues, like jitter, delay, lag, high latencies, and delivers content to the end-user.
But First-generation CDN also Faces Some Challenges:
- Although the first-gen CDNs improves performance and speed tenfold, it doesn’t guarantee availability and security.
- These CDNs are not workload-optimized, so they cannot be tailored for specific services, such as media transcoding, analytics, immersive media, etc.
- Although CDN servers tend to be strategically distributed across the world, latencies vary from communication provider to provider. The local broadband infrastructure does not guarantee to keep up with high-quality streaming traffic.
- CDN might improve media services over local high-speed media transmissions such as fiber optics, but it can have a hard time delivering content over mobile networks.
- CDN providers that store and transport sensitive streaming data might not have the regulatory security measures in hand to protect it against theft and intrusion.
The Solution: Video Transport Gateway
As you might already know, the best Content Delivery Network would be the one closest to the end-user. Geographical proximity is one of the best solutions to reduce transport latency.
But not all CDNs are tailored to guarantee availability, security, speed, mobility, and performance for the delivery of video. The lack of servers designed for video transport led to the next generation of CDNs; the Visual Cloud Delivery Network.
The next-generation CDN, referred to as the Visual Cloud Delivery Network by Intel, is a workload-optimized solution that meets the fast-changing requirements of CDNs. While a CDN delivers all kinds of content, the Visual CDN is designed to accelerate visual services, such as 4K streaming and AR/VR, at the edge of the network.
NCA-6210: The Video Transport Gateway
The Lanner NCA-6210 appliance is designed for network transformation and virtualization. It is a verified Intel Select Solution for Visual Cloud Delivery Network and is the perfect solution for next-generation IP video delivery.
NCA-6210 can be used to deploy next-generation visual CDNs. It is capable of optimizing cloud workloads by enabling high-performance video transcoding and analytics. It can also reduce the latency for immersive media enhancement, which is critical for AR/VR applications.
The next-gen Visual CDN is based on the Network Function Virtualization Infrastructure (NFVi) architecture, specially configured for CDN tasks.
The Next-gen Visual CDN Solution Architecture
As mentioned before, the NCA-6210 optimizes workloads and pre-processes media content coming from a media content server, usually deployed on the cloud. The video transit gateway, NCA-6210, can be deployed on the regional ISP data center, local access data center, or even as close as the mobile cellular network, performing the task of a MEC Server.
The Benefits of the Video Transport Gateway
From the perspective of the first-generation Content Delivery Network, the benefits are lower latency and higher processing of media content.
But a next-gen visual CDN takes the traditional performance of a CDN to a whole new level. The Visual CDN is the future for all visual-based applications; it provides top-of-the-line VOD, streaming, immersive media, cloud-based graphics, and more.
A Video Transport Gateway, such as NCA-6210 provides the following benefits:
- Virtualization optimized: A CDN server can be deployed easily and quickly with virtualized workloads. The NCA-6210 CDN-server acts like a proxy running virtual network functions (VNFs) with the purpose of caching and serving content in real-time. The best of all is that, NCA-6210’s CDN capability can be tailored for video distribution and media transcoding. It provides higher virtualized throughput, increased packet processing, and higher memory bandwidth.
- Video Transcoding: The NCA-6210 provides 4K video with support for H.265 High-Efficiency Video Coding (HEVC). Another advantage is that the Intel Select Solution for Visual Cloud Delivery Network on the NCA-6210 allows access to the Intel Quick Sync Video, which is a hardware-accelerated encoding, decoding, and processing solution.
- Mobility-enhanced: The NCA-6210 appliance is also capable of dramatically reducing the network latency by acting as a Multi-access Edge Computing (MEC). The MEC servers provide cloud computing capabilities and other IT services at the edge of the cellular network. It makes the content delivery network possible by dramatically reducing the transport latency. Mobile network operators can leverage from the hardware-accelerated solution and deploy new or improve services that provide new revenue streams for service providers.
- Integrated security: Most first-generation CDNs are not concerned about security. But in fact, these CDN gateways store and process sensitive user data, which is high value for hackers. The NCA-6210 provides Web App Firewall, Advanced threat protection, Deep packet inspection, and DDoS protection.
First-generation CDNs were created to reduce web content loading times by shortening the geographical distances between source and destination. But these first-generation CDNs were not created for the high-demand of online video services such as high-quality streaming, immersive AR/VR, cloud-based graphics, and analytics.
Although traditional CDNs are helping reduce the strain on the entire Internet, these visual services still demand more.
The NCA-6210 appliance solution is a video transport gateway that is used on the next generation Visual Cloud Delivery Networks. It is capable of optimizing cloud workloads by enabling high-performance video transcoding and analytics.
For more information on the NCA-6210, please contact the Lanner-America support team or get a quote.
Picture Source: https://unsplash.com/photos/EOQhsfFBhRk