& cplSiteName &

A Flashy Approach to VOD

Jeff Baumgartner
LR Cable News Analysis
Jeff Baumgartner
4/25/2007
50%
50%

Flash memory, a storage technology usually used in iPods, digital cameras, and other portable consumer electronics, is starting to gain favor among top video-on-demand (VOD) server manufacturers as costs ebb and performance flows.

SeaChange International Inc. (Nasdaq: SEAC), a leading VOD server and software supplier, is the first to announce formal intentions for Flash, a technology that end up saving big bucks for cable operators and telcos alike.

But SeaChange certainly won't be the last to enlist Flash, as several of its rivals are also giving the technology a close look and determining how it might fit into their product roadmaps. Motorola Inc. (NYSE: MOT), however, has already passed on Flash, in favor of its central strategy to use DRAM (dynamic random access memory).

SeaChange president and CEO Bill Styslinger confirmed in an earnings call in mid-March that his company will introduce a Flash server in the second half of 2007. He also talked up the technology's durability and non-volatile nature.

"Flash is important because it eliminates the need for disk drives," he said, noting that SeaChange had already demonstrated a prototype during a Time Warner Cable Inc. (NYSE: TWC) engineering conference. "Operators are anxious to eliminate the spinning disk needed with all disk and current memory servers."

SeaChange, which already populates its VOD architecture with disk- and RAM-based storage, is expected to unveil its Flashy server next month in Las Vegas at The Cable Show. The product is slated for commercial availability by the third quarter.

SeaChange director of server products Bang Chang says the new entrant will find a home at the edge of the VOD architecture. That's where 20 percent of the most popular titles in the on-demand library are typically replicated. Operators tend to use this approach to ensure the quality of the VOD service and to prevent the operator from having to stream all titles from a central location.

Creating a disk-less VOD edge, Bang Chang says, will reduce costs for powering and cooling, as well as the personnel required to maintain those distributed edge locations. He says cable and telco operators have made opex reduction "the number one priority for us."

Each SeaChange Flash server will hold about 300 hours of standard-def video -- probably not enough to contain more than 20 to 30 percent of the larger VOD libraries in use today. But Bang Chang says SeaChange's MediaCluster architecture will remedy this because it can access and manage up to eight, 300-hour Flash server sites.

Other VOD vendors are also putting Flash under the microscope.

"We are investigating it right now," says Tim Dodge, director of marketing and product management for Concurrent Computer Corp. (Nasdaq: CCUR) "I think everybody's looking at this technology right now."

Include C-COR Corp. (Nasdaq: CCBL) in that exploratory mix, as well. C-COR, according to an email from its VP of on-demand strategy, Basil Badawiyeh, "has looked at Flash as we're considering the short- and long-term storage requirements of our unified video delivery platform that includes VOD, advertising, switched unicast, time-shifted TV, and other low bit-rate storage requirements."

To Page 2

(7)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
dmunoz
50%
50%
dmunoz,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 4:08:32 PM
re: A Flashy Approach to VOD
The question for me is when the Flash price will be competitive against the regular hard-drive price. then we can talk about pure-ástorage applications like nPVR, time shifting, etc. It seems that Flash videoservers alone are not the best solution for that. Maybe other industries more general like laptops, etc can drop the price once they substitute the disks by flash drives.
rationator
50%
50%
rationator,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 3:09:44 PM
re: A Flashy Approach to VOD
What kind of data rate transfer are the flash memory units being used for these VoD applications rated for? This could have some impact on the architecture of the VoD data centers
MM123
50%
50%
MM123,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 3:09:38 PM
re: A Flashy Approach to VOD
www.edgeware.tv ship a flash based VOD server - Orbit 2x
larytet
50%
50%
larytet,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 3:09:38 PM
re: A Flashy Approach to VOD
In the simplest (and cheapest) type we have a serial connection working at 50-100 Mbits/s rate

see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/F...
Jeff Baumgartner
50%
50%
Jeff Baumgartner,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 3:09:37 PM
re: A Flashy Approach to VOD
Thanks, I'll definitely have to put them on my radar. Just waiting to see when they will take that next all important step -- trial or deployment (company doesn't supply many details there yet). As for SeaChange, definitely significant that a vod vendor, particularly one with lots of deployments, is entering the market with a flash product.
Could bode well for Flash's vod prospects.
Jeff Baumgartner
50%
50%
Jeff Baumgartner,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 3:09:36 PM
re: A Flashy Approach to VOD
Thanks. I'm now told that they have trials and commercial installs with tier 1/2/3 cable/telco/broadband ops and some hospitality-realted deals...but aren't at liberty to disclose much yet, so I'll certainly be staying in touch with them


MM123
50%
50%
MM123,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 3:09:36 PM
re: A Flashy Approach to VOD
Edgeware are involved in trials and deployments in US, Asia and Europe since half a year but I think only Maxisat in Finland has been publicly announced to date.
From The Founder
Download our complete guide to de-risking NFV deployment in 2016, including:
  • An eight-step strategy to deploying NFV safely, based on input from the companies that have already started virtualizing their production networks.
  • Interviews with leading executives at Colt, AT&T, Deutsche Telekom, Cisco, Nokia, ZTE, Ericsson and Heavy Reading.
  • Flash Poll
    Live Streaming Video
    Prepping for the Future: Upskill U Explained
    During this short kick-off video, Doug Webster, Vice President of Service Provider Marketing, Cisco, and Light Reading’s CEO & Founder Steve Saunders give an overview of Upskill U.
    LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
    Digital Operation Transformation Roundtable Wrap-Up

    5|6|16   |     |   (0) comments


    Industry leaders at the Digital Operation Transformation Summit give their final thoughts at the roundtable.
    LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
    Peter Sany on Digital Transformation

    5|6|16   |     |   (0) comments


    Peter Sany gives his view on digital transformation at the DOT Summit in Barcelona.
    LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
    James McQuivey on Digital Transformation

    5|6|16   |     |   (0) comments


    James McQuivey gives his view on digital transformation at the DOT Summit in Barcelona.
    LRTV Interviews
    Courting the Apartment Crowd

    5|6|16   |     |   (0) comments


    In this LRTV interview, AT&T's Adrian Cardwell details the changing dynamics of the MDU markets and explains how AT&T is pursuing apartment dwellers with GigaPower.
    LRTV Interviews
    Demand Surges for On-Demand Ads

    5|5|16   |     |   (0) comments


    Ed Knudson, VP, Product and Strategy at Canoe Ventures, discusses the rising appeal of VoD ads and the challenges on inserting ads dynamically in live TV programming.
    LRTV Custom TV
    Exclusive: Video Interview With Sckipio CEO David Baum

    5|5|16   |     |   (0) comments


    At his headquarters in Tel Aviv, G.fast visionary David Baum, CEO of Sckipio, provided an exclusive interview to Light Reading and showed how innovations in rate and reach, vector densities, fast reconnecting times and SFP-based residential gateways are expanding the potential of G.fast.
    Telecom Innovators Video Showcase
    Atrinet's NetACE – Migration to NFV & SDN With NetOps-Driven LSO

    5|4|16   |     |   (0) comments


    At Atrinet's headquarters, Ray Le Maistre sits down with Roy Silon to get an in-depth look into the company's focus and the secret recipe for their success.
    LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
    Amsterdam ArenA, Powered by Huawei

    5|4|16   |     |   (0) comments


    Huawei's ICT solutions power the state-of-the-art Amsterdam ArenA, turning it into a smart stadium.
    LRTV Interviews
    Testing When There's No 'There' There

    5|4|16   |     |   (1) comment


    The benefits of SDN/NFV are well known, but the transition comes with some challenges, prominent among them is: how do you test a network that has been abstracted and has the potential to be endlessly reconfigurable? Light Reading was at NFV World Congress in Santa Clara, Calif., where we bumped into Mats Nordlund, CEO and co-founder of Netrounds, a Swedish ...
    LRTV Interviews
    Ditching the Slash & the Orchestration Wars

    5|3|16   |     |   (2) comments


    SDN and NFV have been inextricably bound with each other for so long that on a conceptual level, smooshing them together into one catch-all phrase – SDNFV – is now justifiable, according to Dan Pitt, executive director of the Open Networking Foundation (ONF). Light Reading spoke to Pitt at the NFV World Congress, where he explained that the next ...
    LRTV Custom TV
    ZTE TV Connect Highlights

    5|3|16   |     |   (0) comments


    ZTE gives us a tour of its booth and new products at TV Connect in London.
    LRTV Custom TV
    Deluxe's Unified Delivery Solution

    5|3|16   |     |   (0) comments


    Join Alan Breznick of Light Reading and visit the Deluxe booth at NAB! Here you'll find Deluxe's Unified Delivery Solution, OTT video, virtual reality, HDR, 4K and much more!
    Upcoming Live Events
    May 23, 2016, Austin, TX
    May 23, 2016, Austin Convention Center
    May 24-25, 2016, Austin Convention Center, Austin, TX
    September 13-14, 2016, The Curtis Hotel, Denver, CO
    December 6-8, 2016,
    June 16-18, 2017, Austin Convention Center, Austin, TX
    All Upcoming Live Events
    Infographics
    A new survey conducted by Heavy Reading and TM Forum shows that CSPs around the world see the move to digital operations as a necessary part of their overall virtualization strategies.
    Hot Topics
    Sprint CEO: Our Spectrum Is for 5G
    Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 5/3/2016
    Amazon & Other 'Big 4' Cloud Providers Crushing Competitors
    Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 4/29/2016
    Showdown at the OpenStack Corral
    Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 5/3/2016
    Upskill U Kicks Off IoT Lectures With Ericsson
    Kelsey Kusterer Ziser, Editor, 5/4/2016
    WiCipedia: 'Meternity,' Lemonade & Chores
    Eryn Leavens, Special Features & Copy Editor, 5/6/2016
    Like Us on Facebook
    Twitter Feed
    BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
    In this latest installment of the CEO Chat series, Craig Labovitz, co-founder and CEO of Deepfield, sits down with Light Reading's Steve Saunders in Light Reading's New York City office to discuss how Deepfield fits in with the big data trend and more.
    Grant van Rooyen, president and CEO of Cologix, sits down with Steve Saunders, founder and CEO of Light Reading, in the vendor's New Jersey facility to offer an inside look at the company's success story and discuss the importance of security in the telecom industry.
    Animals with Phones
    Sloth Mail Click Here
    Sloth mail -- somehow even slower than snail mail.
    Live Digital Audio

    Of all the tech companies in the Valley, Intel has made the most aggressive commitment to building a diverse and inclusive workplace culture. It's doing so by taking concrete, measurable steps, making a large financial investment and through a commitment to complete transparency about its progress. In this radio show, WiC Director Sarah Thomas will be joined by Shlomit Weiss, Intel's Vice President, Data Center Group, and General Manager of Networking Engineering, who will share with us why Intel is tackling this huge challenge, how and to what effect. She will also discuss her unique experiences leading development of Client SOC development in the past and today leading development of all of the chipmaker's silicon hardware for networking IPs and discrete devices and managing a team of 600 engineers across Israel, Europe and the US.