Everywhere you turn on both the Internet and on the corporate network, video is breaking out all over. In fact, it seems like every business manager or product manager now wants to be the star of their own regular series. Of course, what none of them care about is how much pressure this puts on the corporate network, at least not until their presentation starts to become jittery.
Unfortunately, a wholesale upgrade of the network to support streaming video is still beyond the IT budget most organizations have allocated for 2010. But that doesn't mean that IT departments are going to be able to say no to video on the network, so it's time to investigate other alternatives.
One of those alternatives might actually already be deployed on the network in the form of an application acceleration appliance. According to Bethany Mayer, senior vice president of worldwide marketing for Blue Coat Systems, customers are increasingly relying on the caching capabilities of application acceleration appliances to make up for the fact that routers today can't cache streaming video traffic. By caching that traffic on an application acceleration appliance, however, IT organizations can give priority to any particular stream of video traffic over another while improving the overall quality of the video experience.
When it comes to video, things are only going to get worse. Just about every Web 2.0 site today supports video. In fact, YouTube reports that the number of videos on its site is doubling every month. And as we move into high-definition video, IT organizations are going to have to cope with videos that routinely consume 12 Mbits-per-second of bandwidth. And of course, none of that traffic is going to predictable because no one knows what video is going to be popular when.
It's pretty clear at this point that video has gone from being a novelty to a mainstream type of traffic. So the quetion facing the IT organization is how to best cope with a type of traffic that doesn't behave like anything else on the network.