IBM Improves Quality of Streaming Internet Video

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    Rethinking Application Performance in the Digital Business Era

    At the NABshow 2016 conference today, IBM unveiled what it claims to be the first-ever open video transport solution capable of delivering high-quality, live streaming video over a standard Internet connection.

    Based on technology IBM gained when it acquired Aspera, the FASPstream software developed by the Aspera business unit of IBM makes use of a FASP bulk data protocol to transport any live video source, ensuring timely arrival of live video and data independent of network round-trip delays and packet loss. IBM claims that less than five seconds of start-up delay is required for 50 Mbps video streams transported over 250 milliseconds round-trip latency and 3 percent packet loss, which IBM says is sufficient enough to support 4K video streaming between continents.

    Jim Comfort, general manager of cloud development and delivery in IBM’s Global Technology Services division, says video is rapidly becoming one of the dominant data formats that IT organizations are trying to manage. While broadcasters have been managing data for years, video is now regularly streamed across everything from e-learning applications to communications platform. The FASPstream software makes it possible for the average organization to support those applications without having to invest in, for example, an MPLS network.

    IBM Video Streaming

    In general, IBM has been making a major video push as part of a larger public cloud computing strategy. For all the chatter about Big Data these days, it turns out that most of that data comes in the form of video. While storing that data is a significant issue, there’s no point to storing video that can’t be delivered with a guarantee of its quality, at a price point that the average organization can afford.

    Of course, once that happens, the amount of video that needs to be stored will start to increase dramatically. For that reason, IBM is betting heavily that one of the ways it will ultimately differentiate its public cloud is by not only making it simpler to store that data, but also providing the analytics applications, such as IBM Watson, needed to make sense of it all. New customers subscribing to that IBM strategy announced this week include Mazda, AOL, Comic-Con HQ and the Canadian Broadcasting Company.

    Naturally, IBM is not the only cloud service provider that recognizes the challenges and opportunities associated with video in the age of the cloud. But does it appear to be the most aggressive about investing to do something about it.

    Mike Vizard
    Mike Vizard
    Michael Vizard is a seasoned IT journalist, with nearly 30 years of experience writing and editing about enterprise IT issues. He is a contributor to publications including Programmableweb, IT Business Edge, CIOinsight and UBM Tech. He formerly was editorial director for Ziff-Davis Enterprise, where he launched the company’s custom content division, and has also served as editor in chief for CRN and InfoWorld. He also has held editorial positions at PC Week, Computerworld and Digital Review.

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