Why P2P Efficiency Really Matters  (or how to save your network)

Why P2P Efficiency Really Matters (or how to save your network)

The illusionary bandwidth savings Companies are turning to P2P video streaming solutions to solve their internal video distribution needs. The effectiveness of the P2P network is often measured in a percentage of bandwidth reduction or savings. For example, a 70% bandwidth reduction means that the P2P network delivered 70% of the video traffic while 30% was delivered as traditional unicast streaming. But does the level of bandwidth savings really matter? Does savings at 95-99% make a big difference compared to 70-80%? The answer is clearly yes. But why? It is not immediately obvious from the concept of bandwidth savings. A better metric is actually to look at the remaining amount of unicast video traffic over Internet and internal connections, since that is what will actually hit the weaker parts of the network. 2.5% higher savings cuts unicast traffic in half Let’s look at a scenario and see how bandwidth savings corresponds to Unicast load on the network: 1000 viewers in single office watching 1 Mbps video stream P2P Bandwidth Savings Unicast load 70% 300 Mbps 80% 200 Mbps 90% 100 Mbps 95% 50 Mbps 97.5% 25 Mbps   P2P Bandwidth Savings This example illustrates how going from 80% to 90% savings actually cuts the network load in half. The same happens when going from 90% to 95% and again from 95% to 97.5%. And moving from 70% to 97.5% is cuts the network load 12 times! What happens when the unicast load gets too high? A modern enterprise network is used for a wide variety of network services and applications. Since quality internet connections still remain pricy, bandwidth is...
Visualizing the Streaming Video Network

Visualizing the Streaming Video Network

Introducing Hive Insights One of the unique capabilities of Hive Streaming is providing a viewer-centric view of the network during the event – much more than traditional player-based metrics (limited to the browser). So with our Q2 release, we’re proud to introduce Hive Insights – a series of interactive reports offering unprecedented detail into the streaming network. A Graphical View of the Network First up are the Cluster and Radial Graphs. The Cluster graph presents a fractal, interactive view of the network over the course of the streaming video event. The user can scale the nodes of the Cluster graph from the Site level down to Subnets or even individual viewers. The nodes are sized based on the amount of streaming traffic they distributed. The user can dig deeper by selecting a node and dragging it out of the cluster to more closely examine how much content passed through that point in the network. The user can also select a node to see which other nodes were served. Here’s a video source highlighted: With the video source highlighted – the user can see exactly which Sites pulled content directly from the origin. The rest of the traffic was efficiently shared internally. The radial graph is one of our favorites – you can see elements of it in our logo. The radial at the left illustrates the distribution of all video streams over the course of the streaming video event – including streams pulled from the video source and those shared within the network.   Highlight an inbound stream and see which viewers shared that stream. At right, the user drags...
An Introduction to WebRTC

An Introduction to WebRTC

Why do we need WebRTC? Technologists have long considered Peer-to-peer (P2P) technology a natural fit for real-time applications since they have intrinsically lower latency than traditional client-server applications: Nodes can communicate directly without the need of relaying the content through a server in the cloud. This has the potential to greatly reduce infrastructure costs and improve user quality of experience. Many commercial VoIP and video conferencing applications are already using P2P technology in various forms, and offerings are continually coming to market, including video distribution and software updates. However, P2P solutions have traditionally required the installation of additional client software or browser plugins. This hinders adoption by casual users, as new adopters are forced to download and install an additional client software, and this comes with all of the usual hurdles of keeping installed software up-to-date. Fortunately, with the advent of the WebRTC standard, this limitation is soon to disappear. What Is WebRTC? WebRTC defines a set of APIs, to be included in all browsers, which enable the development of browser-based real-time P2P application – in particular VoIP and video conferencing – simply by writing client-side HTML5 code. WebRTC therefore completely removes the need for third-party plugins or client-side software installation and allows frictionless deployment of new P2P-based services as JavaScript applications. In addition, WebRTC makes it easy for developers to deploy new versions of their code – and for users to always have the latest version – simply by updating a webpage’s code. WebRTC is really a set of utilities, the most important of which is peer-to-peer connectivity. WebRTC makes it possible for HTML5 applications to create a direct connection...