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How to Evaluate P2P Streaming Solutions for Enterprise Video Delivery

Riccardo Reale
How to Evaluate P2P Streaming Solutions for Enterprise Video Delivery

Most enterprises face the challenge of scaling video delivery on their internal networks, especially when it comes to live video. P2P streaming is one possible solution these companies should consider. Enterprises are increasingly turning to software to solve this challenge. And this is due to the ease of administration, cost-effectiveness, and compatibility with existing and future video standards. P2P (the technology, which enables peering software) has come a long way since commercial live video solutions first entered the market over a decade ago.

In this blog post, we’ll take you through a few criteria we recommend you to include in your evaluation of software-based video distribution solutions – or ECDN.

Before we get started, here are some initial important aspects to keep in mind:

  • Enterprise network experience is critical when evaluating the right P2P video streaming solution for your organization. Enterprise networks are extremely complex and no two are alike.
  • It’s critical when deploying a video delivery solution that it’s able to optimize itself based on the condition and structure of the network and evolve as network changes occur.
  • A hardware solution has high startup and maintenance costs. It’s also slow to deploy, and not very flexible.
  • Look for a solution that can be quickly deployed with or without details on defined sites/locations, can optimize itself based on the structure of the network. And also that has the intelligence to continually monitor for network changes and optimize based on this learning.
  • Many organizations have incomplete network maps. The solution’s performance shouldn’t be inhibited by inaccuracies or incomplete network maps. Also, your solution should also enable you to over-ride these optimizations to prevent loads on certain firewalls or sites.

Security Considerations Regarding P2P Video Streaming

In terms of security, it’s important to ask yourself the following:

  • Is the video delivery service you are contemplating audited by a third party?
  • Does the software run as a service without impacting other software running on user devices?
  • What access to your end users’ data will the solution have?
" Expert tip: The P2P streaming solution you select should run in a secure account and connect to the internet via proxy Your solution should give you full control of what PII are collected and share

The software should use the security settings that you define and adapt to the network security changes you make.

You should also ask:

  • Does the service utilize a cloud environment, and if so, is it managed by an organization you trust?

When you implement a P2P video streaming solution, it should be in a secure way.

P2P has an infamous history and therefore any project involving deploying P2P streaming software will have security concerns and therefore increased scrutiny.

Rest assured that peering-based solutions have been embraced by many of the world’s leading and security-conscious organizations.

For example, Microsoft, Facebook, Honeywell, and Ericsson all utilize the technology through the Hive Streaming platform.

Will a P2P streaming solution integrate with video platforms that you use or will use in the future?

When implementing peer-to-peer video streaming – make sure the P2P live streaming solutions you are evaluating have proven integrations with the video or webcasting platform/s you are using now and that you may use in the future.

In terms of integration, make sure to find out:

  • Does your video delivery solution integrate with other platforms? The video platform you are using now may need to be replaced or extended in the future.

You may be looking to scale internal webcasting now. But remember – many Unified Communications applications are embracing video. And you may want to scale video within that application in the future.

" Expert tip: Look for a delivery solution that has experience integrating with multiple platforms and speak to these vendors about the quality and currency of the integration.

Video player support is also very important. Ask vendors what players they support and:

  • Make sure that the delivery solution doesn’t change the format of the video. If HTML5 video transmits over HTTP, then this is what your chosen solution should distribute. Keeping the video in this format ensures the video will be compatible with the widest variety of video players and devices.
  • Also, make sure that the solution supports multi-bitrate streaming. Whatever bitrate the player requests should be available via the solution.

 

" Expert tip: Make sure to ask the vendors what players they support.

If it’s a limited set, they may not be embracing a standards-based approach and it may cause future integration issues.

At Hive Streaming, we have listed our supported integrations here.

Will the P2P Live Stream Solution Work in Your Environment?

After you have consulted with peers and vendor references, look for a P2P live video streaming solution that can be:

  • deployed in your network
  • tested with minimal disruption to your network and employees.

Testing should take weeks and not months and be possible without a firm commitment to the vendor. Live video streaming is usually conducted by the most senior executives, think CEO town halls, and careers can be adversely affected by poor quality delivery.

" Expert tip: Select a solution that allows you to test, preferably without involving end-users, prior to events so that any issues can be addressed prior to the big day.

Hive Streaming – Robust P2P Delivery Solution for Large-Scale Live Video Streaming

Hive Streaming is a pioneer of peer-to-peer video streaming. Admittedly, the recommendations in this blog post – highlight some of the strengths of Hive Streaming.

Hive software is enterprise-grade and built specifically for the corporate network. After deploying our solution at many Fortune 100 enterprises – we’ve enhanced our service offering to meet many of the related challenges. And these challenges might not be immediately apparent to newer entrants.

P2P video streaming is an incredibly powerful technology for distributing live and on-demand video, and as a result, there are many P2P-based offerings entering the market.

Ready to get started?

We have built our enterprise-ready eCDN solution with security and privacy in mind since day one, and it is our highest priority to maintain the best possible security posture.

We’ve learnt from experience the issues large enterprises with complex networks deal with in deploying a video delivery solution.

We’d be happy to share with you how we have solved these challenges. Don’t hesitate to reach out to us so we can talk about how to get you started.

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