Why You Can’t Ignore Streaming Video on Your Network

The following is a guest post from Irwin Lazar, VP Analyst at Nemertes Research. 

Look around and you’ll find video everywhere. Teenagers share videos with their friends using Instagram and Snapchat. Distant relatives communicate using Facetime, WhatsApp, or Google Hangouts. Streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, and YouTube have become the primary means by which people consume television shows and movies. And live video broadcasting is now possible, from virtually anywhere, using apps like Periscope and Facebook.

This same appetite for video is quickly permeating the enterprise where workers desire to use it for more than conferencing. Nemertes Research’s recent study of approximately 500 end-user organizations found that more than half were currently supporting, or planning to support, live video streaming across their network. A similar percentage is embracing streaming of recorded video for applications like training, employee communications, or replay of video-enabled meetings.

The same shift of video that we see in the consumer space is happening in the office as well, as pre-planned town hall and executive broadcasts are being supplemented by individuals creating and sharing their own live or recorded video with peers, partners, and/or customers. In addition, new sources of streaming video are rapidly entering the workplace, including surveillance and security video, telemedicine, customer support and monitoring, and wearable devices. The explosion of video streaming sources in the modern enterprise requires a proactive approach to quality and bandwidth management.

So what happens in an organization that doesn’t prepare for growing volumes of streaming video? Network performance suffers as video, typically a high-bandwidth application, contends for limited available network resources. Planned, high profile video broadcasts, for example the CEO speaking to all employees, can also suffer as it fights for contention with other video applications. Those trying to watch video over congested Wi-Fi networks can experience poor performance. And, IT leaders fly blind, unable to access performance data that would help them to tune the network to optimize specific kinds of video, or enforce distribution policies.

The solution to these challenges is deploying an enterprise content delivery network (eCDN). An eCDN provides network operators with the ability to manage video delivery, not just recorded, but also live streamed. It allows for the efficient use of available bandwidth by controlling the distribution of video to send it only where it needs to go, and it allows for the local caching of frequently accessed video to improve performance, and minimize network demand. According to the Nemertes study, 26.9% of participants already have an eCDN or are planning to deploy one by the end of 2019. Another 22.8% are evaluating potential future deployment.

As video usage grows, doing nothing is no longer an option. IT leaders must meet enterprise demand for high quality video streaming, while ensuring that they protect available bandwidth for  latency sensitive traffic like phone calls and transactions. An eCDN provides the capability for proactive video management to deliver a high quality experience while optimizing network utilization.

For more information from Irwin and his research related to enterprise video distribution, please view the webinar, “How to Stream Video Without Killing Your Network”.

About Nemertes: Nemertes is a global research-based advisory and consulting firm that analyzes the business value of emerging technologies. Since 2002, they provided strategic recommendations based on data-driven operational and business metrics to help organizations deliver successful technology transformation to employees and customers.