Home Analysis Gaining visibility into post-CDN video performance with the Cloud

Gaining visibility into post-CDN video performance with the Cloud

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In today’s dynamic video landscape, it is more important than ever for content and service providers to understand the performance of their Over-the-Top (OTT) video services. Consumers expect to receive the same video services in home on a TV and on all connected devices. In fact, multiscreen and OTT subscribers are more sensitive than ever about the quality of their video services. For providers with a global subscriber base, this presents unique technology and business challenges.

When delivering content to various geographic locations, the video experience can vary greatly depending on the delivery path to the subscriber. Control and visibility into global performance are obscured when providers leverage third-party Content Delivery Networks (CDNs) to distribute video content. And, what’s worse, many times video quality problems are only discovered once consumers have a bad experience and then angrily take to social media.

Given subscriber sensitivity to video quality impairment and the lack of visibility after a third-party CDN, any provider using a third-party CDN requires a flexible, cloud-based solution to assure video quality and understand service performance after the CDN.

For many, CDNs are a brave new world. While a CDN is an excellent way to deliver HTTP video, it can also present many challenges for delivering high quality video. The delivery architecture is complex and monitoring video performance through a CDN requires a specific set of quality assurance solutions. But, what if the provider only controls specific parts of the network? What if the provider has no visibility into the performance of video services after the CDN other than relying on direct or indirect consumer feedback? What options do providers leveraging third-party CDNs have to assure service availability?

Content and service providers who either supplement their existing delivery networks with third-party CDNs, or rely exclusively on third-party CDNs to deliver their content, need a solution to understand video service quality and performance wherever they are delivered.

The ability to remotely test, validate, and understand service performance at any post-CDN location gives providers amazing insight into service performance. Providers can only understand their business if meaningful, accurate metrics are gathered and analyzed. With post-CDN services, providers get the data points necessary so they can sleep well at night while services are performing at acceptable levels, and be alerted in real-time to quickly identify and resolve problems with the CDN video delivery infrastructure.

The best strategy to accomplish this goal is to leverage a cloud-based solution to provide post-CDN video service assurance at any global location. With traditional, hardware-based solution, providers would not be able to leverage probe technology unless the provider owned a point of presence post-CDN and in a major hub of their content. However, especially with content providers and broadcasters, points of presence are hard to come by and involve tremendous overhead. But, by leveraging the cloud, providers gain instant access to monitor and assure video services post-CDN, wherever and whenever they want. By monitoring from the cloud in important business hubs, providers can better understand customer experience of their video services. With cloud-based video service assurance, providers get a flexible quality monitoring tool, and the ability to understand business performance in any location desired.

Such solutions are already in use: Currently, a global broadcaster based in Europe is delivering live premium sports content in Europe, Japan and North America. This broadcaster had a number of goals: First, the broadcaster needed to verify the availability and stream performance of their content in their major geographic hubs. Secondly, the broadcaster needed to verify that certain events were properly “blacked-out” where and when required. By initiating cloud-based video quality monitoring services in Japan, Europe, and North America, the broadcaster validated the availability of the video streams in its key markets, gained visibility into the real-time performance in each region, and confirmed that it had properly imposed black-outs where appropriate.

Today’s content and service providers have limited visibility into post-CDN video service performance when third-party CDN’s are involved. Cloud-based video service assurance solutions are a flexible solution that provides deep insight into video quality and availability post-CDN. With the cloud, providers can monitor all post-CDN video content, from any location, all the time.

For more information about IneoQuest’s cloud-based service assurance solution, please visit www.ineoquest.com/cloud-based-video-service-assurance.

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