Akamai spotlights edge innovations at NAB
April 8, 2019
Akamai, the intelligent edge platform for securing and delivering digital experiences, will spotlight several innovations and initiatives designed to help broadcasters deliver the highest quality and most secure online streaming experiences at the 2019 NAB Show, April 8-11, 2019, at the Las Vegas Convention Center. At Akamai booth SL3324, the company will demonstrate its industry-leading content delivery and security solutions.
Connecting to the Edge: Reliable, Economical, Broadcast-Quality OTT Delivery
Akamai continues to focus on helping media businesses reduce costs and offer broadcast-quality streaming performance while enabling broadcasters to implement emerging technology strategies like cloud computing. The company will showcase several critical innovations within its live and on-demand streaming media service, Adaptive Media Delivery, to establish a direct connection to the Akamai Edge, including:
- Cloud Wrapper: Optimizes connectivity between public cloud infrastructures and the Akamai Edge to eliminate common barriers to OTT delivery in cloud environments. Cloud Wrapper provides customers with a dedicated cached footprint within Akamai’s delivery network that wraps around centralised cloud infrastructures to boost origin offload by reducing the frequency of user origin requests, ultimately minimizing egress fees for streaming TV.
- Direct Connect: Gives customers managing their own origin infrastructure a dedicated, private connection to the Akamai Edge. This eliminates the traditionally unreliable step of delivering content from the origin over the internet, ensuring better “first-mile” performance, improving streaming efficacy, and reducing IP transit and origin costs.
- Cloud Interconnects: Provides a direct network connection between cloud providers and the Akamai Edge. Cloud Interconnects allow media companies using the cloud to host their content to deliver streaming traffic directly from cloud infrastructures to Akamai, reducing hosting and egress costs and improving performance.
Securing Online Video Experiences & Content
As content piracy, illegitimate viewership and emerging cyberattacks increase, media and entertainment companies are faced with a wider array of security challenges than ever before. Akamai helps customers secure the entire content consumption path, with several innovations that will be demonstrated at the 2019 NAB Show. These include:
- VPN & DNS Proxy Detection: Intelligently serves or blocks access to OTT content. The newly enhanced solution protects against an increasing volume of users seeking to backdoor their way into streaming services via virtual private networks (VPNs) and Domain Name System (DNS) proxies.
- Standard & Enhanced TLS: Standard TLS helps broadcasters and streaming TV distributors deliver HTTPS at massive scale while providing a company-branded SSL certificate designed to support encryption compliance requirements. Customers that have more rigorous security and compliance requirements, such as PCI compliance for digital properties that handle financial transactions, can continue to utilize the Enhanced TLS offering.
- Token Authentication: Extends coverage for browsers and devices that do not support cookies, enabling validation of the token in such cases and allowing access only when the token is validated as authentic – eliminating a common loophole in traditional token authentication approaches. Additional updates also make it more difficult for users to play back pirated content.
Driving Live Stream Delivery Efficiency & Quality
Viewers’ expectations for better-than-broadcast live-streaming quality and reliability are higher than ever. To deliver a flawless live stream, broadcasters must be able to quickly address challenges related to content ingestion, latency, scalability and more to drive the best viewer experiences, while also keeping costs in check. At the same time, carrier networks are also challenged by the increase in live-streamed video content. In particular, programs attracting large audiences, such as sports championship games or major breaking news, can result in network degradation if not properly managed and optimized.
At NAB, Akamai is unveiling new capabilities to improve live stream delivery for broadcasters and carriers alike, including:
- Akamai Licensed Multicast Solution (LMS): Leverages multicast-assisted adaptive bitrate (M-ABR) technology to help Pay TV operators making the transition from proprietary infrastructure to IP broadband delivery. The solution can drive efficiency and cost savings by helping consolidate video delivery infrastructure and workflows and by managing traffic spikes that frequently occur during high-audience simulcasts, such as sporting events or breaking news. Akamai LMS enables better use of existing network resources as an alternative to increasing CapEx investments in network build-outs or upgrades.
- Media Services Live (MSL) featuring liveOrigin: Designed to significantly drive down latency while maintaining exceptional video quality and reliably handling the challenges of delivering broadcast-quality 24/7 live linear experiences. New MSL capabilities include server-side, dynamic ad insertion and live-to-video-on-demand (VOD) clipping and thumbnailing for both live events and 24/7 “catch-up” TV applications.
- Adaptive Media Player: Akamai has introduced new features available with its Adaptive Media Player (AMP) that include video header bidding, based on open standards, to help publishers maximize monetization opportunities; low-latency live streaming to match the capabilities of Akamai’s Media Services Live for high-performance video delivery; and general availability of SDKs for mobile and TV platforms to reach the broadest possible audience. AMP is designed to help publishers accelerate the deployment of video experiences with greater quality and less complexity. AMP also supports a growing partner ecosystem that continues to write new plug-ins for the player.
Expanded Microsoft Azure Partnership
Akamai has also announced an expansion of its partnership with Microsoft Azure in which Akamai’s CDN capabilities are integrated with Microsoft Azure Media Services and Blob Storage. The collaboration will make it easier and more cost effective for media organisations to combine cloud-based video processing with edge delivery, from content preparation to playback.