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Preparing Your Network for More Video

The global pandemic changed the way we work overnight. Never in the history of enterprise video has a single event led to such rapid and widespread adoption. Video was our business lifeline in the days and weeks after shutdown orders took effect. And it continues to be a critical enabler of business operations with a largely remote workforce.
 
As we move through the second half of the year, companies are faced with figuring out how and when to bring employees back into the physical office while keeping everyone safe and healthy. No doubt video will remain a fundamental tool in the enterprise toolkit. For the foreseeable future, we will not crowd employees into open workspaces or meeting rooms. Video will be used to deliver communications directly to individuals at properly spaced desks. However, unleashing this increased use of video onto the corporate network does not come without its own challenges.
 
Streaming video uses a massive amount of bandwidth, and most networks aren’t sized to handle hundreds or thousands of video streams at one time. Internet connections and WAN links (even VPN tunnels) become bottlenecks. When the network becomes congested, business-critical applications slow to a snail’s pace, and all of a sudden, you have a new set of problems — everything from simple user frustration to paralyzed business operations.
 
So, how do you protect your network from being negatively impacted by streaming video? You can pay for a costly network upgrade or limit the quality and volume of video. But the most reliable and cost-effective option is to overlay your network with a software-based enterprise content delivery network (eCDN). An eCDN optimizes the bandwidth consumed by streaming video to eliminate network congestion during live events and video on demand.
 
When you first start to explore your options for an eCDN, you might be overwhelmed with what appears to be numerous technologies all promising the same outcome. But the truth is, eCDNs are built on three common technologies:
 
  • Multicast uses the multicast protocol to send a single video stream to everyone in your audience while using only the bandwidth needed for one viewer
  • Video caching, like any other type of data caching, temporarily stores video close to where viewers are located on the network
  • P2P networking uses active personal devices to build a network to host and redistribute video among one another
 
Each type of eCDN has unique strengths and weaknesses, and it is important to choose the right technology for the right business problem. A single eCDN rarely meets the needs of most enterprises, and standardizing on one may require compromises that could prove difficult to manage. The good news is you can easily mix and match eCDN technologies within the same network.
 
To learn how each eCDN works, their relative strengths and weaknesses, and key deployment considerations, download “Scaling Video without Harming Your Network: Making Sense of Your eCDN Choices.”

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