Video Straining Your Network?

As video use continues to skyrocket in businesses around the world, IT departments need to effectively manage the strain video can place on a network. Considerations include:

  • Optimization of video delivery across corporate WANS
  • Dynamically throttling video quality during playback based on available bandwidth
  • Managing spikes in traffic for simultaneously viewed live or on-demand events
  • Offloading bandwidth for external-facing video
  • Ensuring high availability through the use of content delivery networks
  • Optimization of videos for higher-latency networks

A video content management system (VCMS, or “corporate YouTube”) can help address these issues. How?

1: Chunked (Stateless) Delivery

First, VCMSs often stream videos using chunked (stateless) delivery. This enables video content to work well with caching proxies that many organizations deploy across their WANs. For frequently accessed videos and simultaneously accessed live events, the ability to use a WAN’s caching framework can substantially reduce overall bandwidth consumption.

2: Adaptive Bitrate Streaming

Video content management systems typically use adaptive bitrate streaming to serve live and on-demand content. With adaptive bitrate streaming, the VCMS detects a viewer’s bandwidth in real time and adjusts the video quality accordingly (see below for an illustration).

To do this, the VCMS uses an encoder (typically installed on the server) to take a single-bitrate video as input, and encode it to multiple bit rates. For viewers, this results in minimal buffering during playback, faster start time, and a good experience for both high- and low-bandwidth connections.


Adaptive bitrate streaming dynamically switches between video streams of different
quality during playback based on available bandwidth.

3: Deployment Options

Most VCMSs offer deployment options that can offload a portion of video content from the corporate network.

  • For internal-facing video such as all-hands events, training, and employee-generated video, an on-premises instance of the VCMS would be deployed to corporate servers.
  • For external-facing content such as marketing and customer support videos, a cloud-based instance of the VCMS would be hosted by the VCMS vendor.

This hybrid option would reduce the load on the internal network for external content and ensure high global availability through integration with content delivery networks (CDNs) such as Akamai or Limelight.

4: Help in Scaling Existing Web Conferences

Finally, video content management systems can help existing corporate web conferences achieve greater scale while reducing the load on the network. Popular web conferencing solutions such as GoToWebinar and Adobe Connect reach scalability limits between 500 and 1500 participants.

By contrast, live streams delivered through a VCMS can viewed by tens of thousands of viewers simultaneously. Because most of web conferencing participants are passive viewers, the web conferencing stream could be routed through a VCMS to reach the desired scale while taking advantage of adaptive bitrate streaming and other bandwidth management capabilities of the VCMS.

Want to know more about video content management systems and why every IT organization should have one? Download our latest free white paper, “5 Reasons Why Every CIO Needs A Video Content Management System” today.

Published: January 02, 2014