Advanced Television

Streaming Video Alliance trials open caching systems

January 4, 2017

Industry body the Streaming Video Alliance – whose members include a broad range of suppliers, distributors and programmers – has confirmed that trials based on recently-approved Open Caching Request Routing and HTTPS Delegation Technical Specification are to begin.

The trials are the first implementation by Alliance member companies of open caching systems that incorporate the specification for request routing in ISP networks to optimise delivery and ensure superior Quality of Experience for live and on-demand video streaming.

Participants in the Open Caching Trials include Charter, Limelight Networks, Major League Baseball Advanced Media, Qwilt, Verizon, Viacom, ViaSat and Yahoo. The companies, mostly members of the Alliance’s Open Caching Working Group, will conduct a range of use cases during the trials, including live and on-demand streaming video traffic over HTTP and HTTPS. The participating companies will report trial results to the Open Caching Working Group.

“This is a monumental milestone for the organisation and for video streaming,” said Jason Thibeault, Executive Director of the Streaming Video Alliance. “In addition to demonstrating our ability to create, endorse and publish the technical specification that will improve streaming experiences across the value chain, we are now bringing our work to market through proof-of-concept trials. This is the strongest possible signal to the industry that our members are determined to put the Alliance’s work into practice and improve the future of streaming profoundly.”

The request routing specification for open caching provides the entire ecosystem with an architecture that optimises video delivery from source to end-user device. This open architecture offers in-network compute and storage resources that move popular content to distributed open cache servers deployed deep in ISP networks and, therefore, as close to the end-user as possible.

“We support the Alliance’s new Open Caching trials as it will enable MLBAM to optimise our architecture by utilising these new cache resources deep in the ISP network,” said Joe Inzerillo, CTO of MLBAM and President of the Alliance. “The Open Cache architecture will ensure QoE for MLBAM live streams is optimal.”

The Alliance voted to approve the open caching specification at its November 2016 meeting held at Level 3 Communications headquarters in Broomfield, Colo. Since its inception in late 2014, the Streaming Video Alliance has grown to 45 member companies, representing the entire end-to-end streaming ecosystem. The Open Caching Request Routing Specification represents the first ratified technical specification approved and published by the organisation.

“As we move forward with our plans to expand streaming services at Viacom, reliable delivery and scalability are critical,” said Julian Sitkevich, VP Technology at Viacom. “The Alliance’s Open Cache trials will allow us to be among the first to prove the value of this next-generation architecture that can deliver streaming services at scale.”

“It is gratifying to see the rigor and focus Alliance members have invested over the last two years come to fruition,” said Alon Maor, CEO of Qwilt and Chair of the Open Caching Working Group. “The adoption of Open Caching by the ISPs, CDNs and content providers will enable the entire ecosystem to benefit from Open Caching. The OC architecture enables new applications, and superior QoE by taking advantage of the principle that ‘closer is better’ when it comes to delivering content.”

“The Alliance approving the Open Cache Specification was an important step for the industry. We can now move forward confidently and quickly with trials and deployments,” said Jason Hofmann, VP of Architecture at Limelight Networks. “We expect to see the Open Caching architecture adopted broadly and, as a leading Content Delivery Network, we are proud to be working alongside industry peers to create the open architecture that will allow video streaming to scale faster and better than ever before.”

Major ISPs and commercial CDNs have been actively involved in defining the specification since inception. The Alliance offers a unique forum for content providers, CDNs, ISPs and service providers to all come together to work towards a specification that will benefit the entire ecosystem in terms of both cost efficiency and QoE.

“The Streaming Video Alliance serves a critically important role towards aligning the entire ecosystem around Open Caching,” said Mike Altland, Director of Network Planning at Verizon. “The trials announced today will allow ISPs to move forward confidently to test and implement this new architecture to support improved content delivery.”

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