Light Reading
Flash, a storage technology usually reserved for iPods and digital cameras, is starting to gain favor in the world of VOD

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  | 
Page 1 / 2 Next >
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
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.
Educational Resources
sponsor supplied content
Educational Resources Archive
Flash Poll
From The Founder
It's clear to me that the communications industry is divided into two types of people, and only one is living in the real world.
LRTV Custom TV
Using Service Quality to Drive WiFi Monetization

10|22|14   |   6:51   |   (0) comments


Live from the SCTE conference: Heavy Reading's Alan Breznick explores the forces shaping the WiFi opportunity in an interview with CableLabs' Justin Colwell and Amdocs' Ken Roulier.
LRTV Custom TV
Distributed Access Architectures – 2

10|21|14   |   8:51:00 AM   |   (0) comments


ARRIS CTO Network Solutions Tom Cloonan discusses why many if not most MSOs will continue with integrated CCAP, while addressing why some are also looking at two futuristic, distributed access architectures: Remote PHY and Remote CCAP.
LRTV Custom TV
Distributed Access Architectures – 1

10|21|14   |   9:01   |   (0) comments


SCTE Sr. Director of Engineering Dean Stoneback discusses the pros and cons of distributed access architecture (DAA) and its various forms, which range from basic Remote PHY to full CMTS functionality in the node.
LRTV Custom TV
The WiFi Road to Riches – 2

10|21|14   |   3:58   |   (0) comments


ARRIS Senior Solution Architect Eli Baruch talks about how MSOs can enable public and community WiFi through 1) outdoor access points, 2) businesses seeking to offer WiFi to customers, and 3) residential WiFi gateway extensions.
LRTV Custom TV
The WiFi Road to Riches – 1

10|21|14   |   10:15   |   (0) comments


SCTE Director of Advanced Technologies Steve Harris discusses WiFi deployments, drivers, challenges and advances, including 802.11ac, carrier-grade WiFi, community WiFi, Hotspot 2.0, Passpoint, WiFi-First and voice-over-WiFi.
LRTV Custom TV
Advantech Accelerates 100G Traffic Handling

10|17|14   |   7:56   |   (0) comments


Paul Stevens from Advantech explains why handling 100GbE needs a whole new platform design approach and how Advantech is addressing the needs of equipment providers and carriers to give them the flexibility and performance they will need for SDN and NFV deployment.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Holland's Imtech Traffic & Infra Discusses Huawei's ICT Solution and Services

10|16|14   |   4:49   |   (0) comments


Dimitry Theebe is from the business unit at Imtech Traffic & Infra which delivers communications solutions for transportations. His partnershp with Huawei began about a years ago. In this video, Theebe speaks more about this partnership and what he hopes to accomplish with Huawei.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei's Comprehensive Storage Solutions Vital for SVR

10|16|14   |   6:16   |   (0) comments


SVR Information Technology provides cloud services for academic and special sectors. With Huawei's support, SVR and Yildiz Technical University has established Turkey's largest and most advanced High Performance Computing system. CSO Ismail Cem Aslan talks about what he hopes Huawei's OceanStor storage system will bring for him.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Mexico's Servitron's Impression of Huawei at CCW 2014

10|16|14   |   6:35   |   (0) comments


Servitron is a network operator in Mexico that has been in the trunking industry for the past 20 years. Its COO, Ing. Ragnar Trillo O., explains at Critical Communications World 2014 that his company has been interested in the long-term evolution of LTE technology and its adoption for TETRA.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Building a Better Dubai

10|16|14   |   2:06   |   (0) comments


Abdulla Ahmed Al Falasi is the director of commercial affairs, a telecommunications coordinator for the government of Dubai. Their areas of service span across multiple industries, including police, safety, shopping malls and more. In this video, Abdulla talks about his department's work with Huawei.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei Lights Up Malaysia Partner Maju Nusa

10|16|14   |   1:59   |   (0) comments


Malaysia's Maju Nusa is an enterprise partner to Huawei in networking, route switches and telco equipment. At this year's Critical Communications World in Singapore, CTO Pushpender Singh talks about what Huawei's eLTE solutions mean to his company and for Malaysia.
LRTV Custom TV
Evolving From HFC to FTTH Networks

10|15|14   |   2:19   |   (0) comments


Cisco's Todd McCrum delves into the future of cable's HFC plant, examining how DOCSIS 3.1 and advanced video compression will extend its life and how the IP video transition will usher in GPON and EPON over FTTH.
Upcoming Live Events
October 29, 2014, New York City
November 6, 2014, Santa Clara
November 11, 2014, Atlanta, GA
December 2, 2014, New York City
December 3, 2014, New York City
December 9-10, 2014, Reykjavik, Iceland
February 10, 2015, Atlanta, GA
June 9-10, 2015, Chicago, IL
Infographics
WhoIsHostingThis.com presents six of the world's most extreme WiFi hotspots, enabling the most epic selfies you can imagine.
Hot Topics
Is Health the Killer App for the IoT?
Jason Meyers, Senior Editor, Gigabit Cities/IoT, 10/22/2014
Drones Hover Over the IoT Sector
Jason Meyers, Senior Editor, Gigabit Cities/IoT, 10/23/2014
Analysts Warn of Major NFV Gaps
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 10/22/2014
Roku Raises $25M, But for What?
Mari Silbey, Independent Technology Editor, 10/23/2014
AT&T: Merger Review Halt Won't Hurt Us
Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader, 10/23/2014
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed