Akamai introduces two new solutions for TV broadcasters, distributors

MUMBAI: Akamai, the intelligent edge platform for securing and delivering digital experiences, introduced two new solutions for television broadcasters and distributors designed to mitigate challenges associated with cloud computing and ensure high-quality origin delivery to the Akamai network.

Akamai Cloud Wrapper and Akamai Direct Connect demonstrate how the Akamai Edge can help reduce costs while offering broadcast-quality streaming performance and enable broadcasters to implement emerging technology strategies, such as cloud computing.

Akamai Cloud Wrapper optimises connectivity between public cloud infrastructures and the Akamai Intelligent Edge to eliminate common barriers to over-the-top (OTT) delivery in cloud environments without requiring changes to existing workflows.

Specifically, Cloud Wrapper provides customers with a dedicated cache footprint within Akamai’s delivery network that wraps around centralized cloud infrastructures in a manner designed to maximize origin offload and reduce origin requests, while minimizing egress fees for streaming TV.

Akamai Direct Connect provides customers that manage their own origin infrastructure with a dedicated, private connection to the Akamai Edge network, eliminating the traditional and often unreliable step of delivering content from the origin over the internet. Both solutions are part of Akamai’s live and on-demand streaming media service, Adaptive Media Delivery, and was showcased at IBC 2018 in Amsterdam (September 14-18, 2018) at booth 1.D35.

“Akamai broke and rebroke live TV streaming volume records this year, and we believe we are only at the early part of the meteoric rise in streaming popularity for live, linear and on-demand television. Through innovative solutions such as Cloud Wrapper and Direct Connect, Akamai is striving to stay well ahead of the adoption curve. Our customers’ streaming services are evolving into increasingly significant parts of their business operations, and Akamai is committed to helping them fully realise the vital role of the Akamai Edge in their efforts,” said Akamai VP Media Industry and Product Marketing Campbell Foster.

Driving sustainable streaming economics & supporting cloud migrations

More and more broadcasters and OTT providers are moving to centralised cloud platforms to realise compute and storage efficiencies. However, as their content libraries continue to grow, they often face several challenges related to cloud delivery of that content. For example, too many viewer stream requests reach the content’s origin in cloud deployments, impacting performance. Broadcasters and distributors pay an egress fee for each request that is not offloaded; specifically, those requests that are fulfilled from the origin instead of from the Akamai Edge.

Built on Akamai’s distributed Edge network, Cloud Wrapper caches, or stores, OTT content outside of a customer’s cloud environment, boosting origin offload by reducing the frequency of user requests that reach the origin. Higher offload means broadcasters and distributors pay cloud providers less for access to the origin content. Since Cloud Wrapper works seamlessly with other Akamai Edge delivery solutions, such as Adaptive Media Delivery, Download Delivery, and Object Delivery, Akamai can help broadcasters offer consumers an exceptional viewing experience.

Improving reliability at the first mile

Akamai Broadcast customers that operate their own origin infrastructure typically deliver TV content over the public internet before it reaches the Akamai Edge. Internet congestion interferes with the “first-mile,” impacting streaming efficacy and driving up IP transit and origin costs.

By connecting their infrastructure directly to the Akamai Edge network with Akamai Direct Connect, customers benefit from the consistent and reliable first-mile performance required to deliver a broadcast-quality viewing experience, reduced origin IP transit costs, and the ability to protect their origin infrastructure by limiting public connectivity. Once connected to Akamai’s network via Direct Connect, broadcasters have access to Adaptive Media Delivery, as well as Media Services Live – Akamai’s leading 24/7 live linear service.

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