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Delivering Over The Top Video at Scale - Akamai at OTTCon 2013


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Will Law, Principal Architect - Media Engineering at Akamai spoke at OTTCon on March 20, 2013

In a presentation titled "Darkness & The Light", Will discussed the current architecture and distribution methods of delivering over-the-top content struggle to deliver a single live event to millions of concurrent users. How can they possibly hope to cope with even a fraction of cable's capacity? During the session, Will examined an array of 10 technologies that can combine to help address the problem of delivering live OTT content at massive scale.

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Delivering Over The Top Video at Scale - Akamai at OTTCon 2013

  1. 1. OTT AND SCALE:THE DARKNESS AND THE LIGHTWill LawPrincipal Media Architect - Akamai
  2. 2. • Any [content | where | device | time]
  3. 3. LET’S EXAMINE THE REALITY OF OUROTT EXPERIENCE1. Everyone start browsing Netflix now on their cellphones2. Repeat this experiment tonight in your hotel room.3. What’s the largest concurrent audience ever for a webcast?4. Viewership of the 20th – 25th most popular cable shows last week?5. How much traffic is Akamai pushing right now?6. What if 10% of cable audience went over-the-top tomorrow?
  4. 4. The Explosion of Media over IPToday Future• 700 million video users x3= 2.1 billion video users• 10 mins of video daily x12= 2 hrs of video daily• 500 Kbps x15= 7.5 Mbps for hi-def content x540=
  5. 5. More People… Internet Users Worldwide 6 5 4Billions 3 2 1 0 2009 2012 2015 2020 Sources: eTForecasts, Internet World Stats, National Science Foundation, Akamai Estimates
  6. 6. …ON MORE DEVICES… Connected Devices 60 50 40 Billions 30 20 10 0 2009 2012 2015 2020 Sources: IDC, IMS Research, Cisco, Ericsson, Akamai Estimates
  7. 7. Evolution of online video 1.4 Tbps 1.084 Tbps Americans will watch more streaming movies in 2012 than DVD & Blu-Ray combined Major sporting 444 Gbps events online in 2012 with engagement times in hours 21.0 Gbps<1 Gbps 15.9 Gbps 1999 2002 2004 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014
  8. 8. Revolution of TV Online Continued Exponential Growth1999 2002 2004 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014+
  9. 9. THE OTT BANDWIDTH CRUNCH • There is no single solution to this problem • But there are an array of technologies which together can begin to attack this problem • Let’s take a look at 10 of them
  10. 10. 1. HEVC VIDEO CODEC• Successor to AVC (H.264) went to final draft in January 13• It requires 30-50% less bandwidth than AVC for the same perceived quality.• Decoding is complex although software decoding available in tablets/laptops/phones today• Can open up new markets for ADSL and mobile subscribers• Allows 720p at 2Mbps which is sweet spot for 4G networks.• Makes OTT UHD (4K) feasible• Will cut transport costs for OTT content only IF quality parity is maintained.
  11. 11. 2. DEVICE COMPUTE CAPABILITY IS RISING• The cell phone in your pocket has more computing power than all of NASA had in 1969 when it launched Apollo 13.• The Sony PS3 of today, which costs $300, has the power of a military supercomputer of 1997, which cost millions of dollars.• Quad-core is the norm now, OctaCore coming out with S4, smarter multicore main processors with ridiculously small die sizes.• How does this effect media? Can decode more complex compression schemes.
  12. 12. 3. STORAGE DENSITY IS GROWING FASTER THANCOMPUTE ABILITY• Why should storage effect bandwidth?• Andreessen in 1999• What if your home router has a 5TB drive inside it?
  13. 13. 4. MULTICAST• Vast majority of OTT traffic today is unicast,• Multicast is typically enabled within a network. No easy way for CDNs to ensure multicast transit to all end-users.• Multicasting longtail VOD traffic is inefficient• But we could multicast – Live sports events – New events (Elections, royal weddings etc). – OTT linear TV for marquee programming – The top 100 Netflix titles?
  14. 14. 5. PEER ASSISTED DELIVERY• Get video from your peers instead of a conventional server• Urrgghh Bittorrent for giving p2p a bad name in the enterprise• Needs overlay security and control plane• Challenged by asymetric last mile, which is why mostly used for audio today.• Todays adaptive segmented formats (HLS, HDS, Smooth, DASH) lend themselves nice to peer assisted delivery.• What if peers were TV’s , home entertainment devices, refrigerators ?
  15. 15. 6. TIERED PRICING PLANS• This is one you don’t want to hear as a consumer.• What do you do when your carrier charges you $20/GB?• Pricing tiers are effective tools at restricting usage and modifying behavior: – Shifting mobile users to use WiFi – Shift consumption out of non-peak times
  16. 16. 7. CACHING NETWORKS• Imagine if all the content you ever wanted was on the server one hop away from you?• Think of caching as “free” delivery – removes origin and midgress traffic• Used to only exist inside CDNS• Now major telcos and carriers are building out transparent cache layers within their own networks.• Federation of content between cache networks.• Caches are inching their way towards the cell tower, which is a non-IP environment.
  17. 17. 8. BETTER OPTIMATION OF MOBILE DATA Image credit:
  18. 18. 9. FIBER AND TRANSIT CAPACITY INCREASING• The last hop to your house or device is not where congestion is occurring – it is the peering and transit that has to occur between server and client.• Sustainable throughput on fiber increased 120% over past 5 years.• Dark fiber being activated.• New fiber laid at increasing rates.• Sept 2012 NTT demonstrated ultra-large capacity transmission of 1 petabit (1000 terabit) per second over a 52.4 km length of optical fiber.• Equivalent to sending 5,000 HDTV videos of two hours in a single second.
  19. 19. 10. SCALABLE VIDEO CODING (SVC)• Multi-bitrate delivery where each higher bitrate builds upon the lower ones• Leads to very good cache efficiency.• caching == reduced transit and origin traffic• HEVC+SVC+DASH = efficient
  20. 20. MANY MORE BEYOND THESE 10• Towards the darkness – 4K video – Device screen resolution increasing (S4 is 1080p)• Towards the light – HTTP 2.0 SPDY et al. – Server bits/watt increasing – Hybrid UDP/TCP delivery – Residential fiber – WLAN/WiFi offload