& 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.
Light Reading’s Upskill U is a FREE, interactive, online educational resource that delivers must-have education on themes that relate to the overall business transformation taking place in the communications industry.
NEXT COURSE
Friday, September 30, 1:00PM EDT
Gigabit & the Great Migration
Robert Howald, Vice President, Network Architecture, Comcast
UPCOMING COURSE SCHEDULE
Wednesday, October 5, 1:00PM EDT
Gigabit & Smart Cities
Joe Kochan, COO & Co-Founder, US Ignite
Friday, October 7, 1:00PM EDT
Gigabit & DOCSIS 3.1
Ty Pearman, Director, Access Architecture, Comcast
Wednesday, October 19, 1:00PM EDT
Securing a Virtual World
Rita Marty, Executive Director, Mobility and Cloud Security, Chief Security Office, AT&T
in association with:
From The Founder
Light Reading today starts a new voyage as part of a larger Enterprise.
Flash Poll
Live Streaming Video
Charting the CSP's Future
Six different communications service providers join to debate their visions of the future CSP, following a landmark presentation from AT&T on its massive virtualization efforts and a look back on where the telecom industry has been and where it's going from two industry veterans.
LRTV Custom TV
Flexible Deployment Approaches for the Gigabit Services Evolution

9|29|16   |     |   (0) comments


For many operators, the gigabit evolution begins with the shift from DOCSIS 3.0 to DOCSIS 3.1. But that move represents a change not only in the protocol itself, but in the approach to architecting their entire DOCSIS delivery chain -- from the headend to the outside plant and home gateway components.

Jonathan Ruff, senior director of global technical ...

LRTV Interviews
Level 3 VP: Enterprises Need More for Less

9|29|16   |   05:27   |   (0) comments


Andrew Dugan, Level 3 group vice president of global technology and IT, says enterprises need more bandwidth and they need it faster and with greater security, but they want to spend less, if possible. They are looking to carriers to reduce their network complexity and help protect them from cyberattacks as well.
LRTV Interviews
CenturyLink: SDN/NFV Pose New Interconnection Possibilities

9|28|16   |   04:37   |   (0) comments


Network operators should develop new APIs and business processes for reselling virtual assets to each other, says CenturyLink's Bill Walker. That will enable them to build digital business portfolios that help them avoid becoming commodity transport providers.
LRTV Interviews
Level 3: Overcoming Terror of Being Supplier, Integrator & Developer

9|28|16   |     |   (0) comments


At Light Reading's NFV & Carrier SDN event in Denver, Travis Ewert of Level 3 Communications said there is terror in becoming supplier, integrator and developer, but it can be overcome and be cost effective.
LRTV Custom TV
Introducing IoT World News

9|27|16   |   01:43   |   (0) comments


Self-driving cars, medical sensors, smart cities... and refrigerators. In order to address the huge scope of IoT, KNect365 has created a unique online community that will help businesses to understand and monetize the opportunities that live within the IoT market. We look forward to welcoming you to IoT World News -- your gateway to a better connected future.
LRTV Interviews
AT&T: Reusable Functions Next NFV Key

9|27|16   |   06:03   |   (0) comments


The next generation of NFV has to break functions down into reusable software chunks, making everything much more cloud-like.
LRTV Interviews
Masergy on Security: Attackers Gaining Upper Hand

9|27|16   |   5:10   |   (2) comments


At Light Reading's NFV & Carrier SDN event in Denver, Ray Watson, vice president of Global Technology at Masergy, says that because of the growth in virtualization, the threat landscape is shifting in favor of the attackers. As a result, service providers need to think beyond just defending the perimeter and take a more holistic approach to security.
LRTV Interviews
Verizon Takes Next Step on Biz Virtualization Journey

9|26|16   |   4:38   |   (2) comments


At September's NFV & Carrier SDN event in Denver, Light Reading sat down with Victoria Lonker, director of Product and New Business Innovation at Verizon, to chat about where the carrier is with delivering virtualized services to business customers.
LRTV Interviews
Global Services: The $40B Face-Off

9|26|16   |   05:53   |   (1) comment


More service providers than ever before are battling it out to win a slice of what is now a $40 billion global communications services pie, explains Ovum Principal Analyst David Molony.
LRTV Documentaries
MEC Congress: The Key Takeaways

9|22|16   |   03:25   |   (3) comments


Three key takeaways from the Mobile Edge Computing (MEC) Congress in Munich, Germany.
Wagner’s Ring
Time to Shut Up About 'Dumb Pipes'

9|22|16   |     |   (19) comments


Service providers can't compete with OTT players. It just isn't in their DNA. Instead, service providers need to embrace what they're good at -- providing reliable, secure connectivity.
Wagner’s Ring
Keeping Your Tech Career Going After 50

9|21|16   |     |   (13) comments


How do you keep your career moving forward when you're past the half-century mark?
Upcoming Live Events
November 3, 2016, The Montcalm Marble Arch, London
November 30, 2016, The Westin Times Square, New York City
December 1, 2016, The Westin Times Square, New York, NY
December 6-8, 2016, The Westin Excelsior, Rome
May 16-17, 2017, Austin Convention Center, Austin, TX
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
Hot Topics
WiCipedia: The Women Helping Women Edition
Eryn Leavens, Special Features & Copy Editor, 9/23/2016
Eurobites: Telefónica Taps Juniper for Network Security
Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, 9/26/2016
Open Source Getting on My Nerves
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 9/26/2016
Powell Kills the Cable Show
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 9/29/2016
Telstra Sees Quadrupled Data Capacity by 2020
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 9/28/2016
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
Light Reading CEO Steve Saunders and UXP Systems CEO Gemini Waghmare discuss the strategic importance of digital identity for operators in the midst of transformation.
Join us for an in-depth interview between Steve Saunders of Light Reading and Alexis Black Bjorlin of Intel as they discuss the release of the company's Silicon Photonics platform, its performance, long-term prospects, customer expectations and much more.
Animals with Phones
There's Nothing Like Missing a Full Minute of Pokémon Go Click Here
Live Digital Audio

A vital part of increasing the number of women in comms is transforming the ways companies can support and empower women. While progressive company policies that support both men and women in achieving work-life balance are a step in the right direction, creating a company culture that supports those policies can at times be more challenging.

During this show, we'll talk to Lynn Comp, Senior Director of Industry and Sales Enabling (ISE) in the Network Platforms Group at Intel, about why those challenges exist and how companies can overcome them. She'll provide insight into how Intel has worked to create a culture that supports work-life balance, and provide steps and guidance for other companies wishing to do the same. We will also leave plenty of time to get your questions answered live on the air.