Video Streaming has become a way of life – and business. Every company, big or small, is planning its development with video streaming as a prime part of the strategy. From Entertainment, to Ecommerce, to Education – every sphere is utilizing the technology of video streaming. The consumption of video (as well as audio) just about any time, and anywhere, is on the rise with every minute.
Companies and organizations, on their part, have access to on-demand and live video streaming to every kind of screen; and, needless to say, they are all eager to make the most of such opportunities. However, there seems to be one task that looks daunting: Taking a decision regarding where, and how to deploy the technology of video streaming – in the Cloud, On Premises, or making use of a Hybrid model.
With the steady evolution of infrastructure requirements and video formats, and the growth of the number of streaming playback devices, organizations are often found wondering which video streaming workflow to choose that can meet their current and future requirements the best.
Let us, therefore, consider some key factors that would help for you to keep in mind regarding the evaluation of deploying a live streaming workflow on Cloud or Premises or Hybrid.
Examine Your Requirement
In order to determine which approach – regarding whether a video streaming media should go for cloud-hosted software, or on-premises, or a hybrid – would suit your company / organization the most, asking the following questions and considering the same factors would prove effective.
You need to be absolutely certain about the
- Business Requirements
and, therefore, the
- Key User Experience
that you need to determine for your video streaming.
Your intent behind the whole exercise of getting into video streaming might be to thrill a global consumer audience, or to meet a goal related to internal communications. The difference between two such goals, as you see, is wide. Similarly, the scope of capabilities, and features between the two goals is bound to be equally wide-ranging. You, therefore, need to assess whether you
- Need to ensure Fault Tolerance
- Secure your Content
- Bill for Access
- Present Closed Captions
- Meet definite Expectations of Viewers
- Track for how long every Viewer has been watching your Video
- Deliver with Low Latency
and so on.
Each one of these factors would be having Cloud versus On Premises related plus and minus points to take into consideration.
You need to be very clear about the sort of content that you are about to be delivering.
Content that has a lot of visual details – like a surgical procedure, or a profusion of small text – or content with high motion (such as a cricket match) needs higher bitrates than the rest. Higher bitrates can necessitate Adaptive Bitrate Streaming. This, in its turn, may require that your infrastructure lend support to increased processing power, and aggregate bandwidth, and the scales might tip in favor of Cloud infrastructure, resultantly.
You need to be very thorough with the knowledge of the location, and volume of your viewers – apart from what they would prefer to watch.
An On Premises deployment can be adopted if all, or most of your viewers are onsite located. On the other hand, if the maximum number of your viewers is geographically dispersed, or not on the intranet of your company, it can make more business sense to offload the processing and delivery to a third party infrastructure.
The Level Of Control
Ascertain the extent of control and customization you prefer over the streaming infrastructure of your organization.
- A Cloud deployment gives some management as well as control to the service provider.
- With an On Premises deployment, you can have complete control over your workflow. You can manage your technology stack at every level.
- With a Hybrid deployment, matters are in the mean. Hybrid can provide the greatest combination of third party management and control, at times.
You need to be very sure about how fast you would need to scale to be able to deliver the highest quality of video stream consistently; and how predictable the spikes of viewership are.
Organizing adequate network and server resources can be simple if you have an audience that is more or less fixed when it comes to location, and volume. However, in the case of live events, there can often be a fluctuation in the volume of audience. Such cases of unpredictability can be addressed with a CDN (Content Delivery Network), when HTTP Adaptive Bitrate Streaming is in use. Be that an enterprise CDN built by you On Premises for the purpose of servicing your intranet users, or be that a third party Cloud based CDN that delivers to global internet viewers, HTTP caching servers in a Content Delivery Network can accommodate a greatly variable viewership by scaling capably.
If you happen to be using traditional video streaming protocols such as RTSP or RTMP for delivering, deployment of more streaming servers can be required for scaling.
It can be a cost effective idea to go for Cloud based servers only as and when necessary, when events are infrequent for an internet audience.
Be clear about your budget and financing model.
Clarity where the idea of funds is concerned will enable you to determine if at all there is an option of buying servers, or employing people.
Your financing model should be able to decide whether you should go for putting emphasis on Operating Expenditures (OPEX) or Capital Expenditures (CAPEX).
Haste To Market
How early – or late -- you would like to launch live video streaming can help you decide a lot.
There are many companies that begin video streaming quickly with a managed Cloud service. With time, then, these companies gain in expertise, attain more refined requirements, and proceed to a customized Hybrid or Cloud model.
You need to know, for sure, how much you would be willing to invest on developing and managing video streaming workflows. You also need to keep in mind the people and equipment that you have with you, to begin with.
In case you have employees who have expertise or experience (or both) related to the video streaming business that you are about to embark upon, great for you. In the same manner, having a Cloud-knowledgeable team can be a key factor. You need to decide whether the in house knowledge of Cloud infrastructure and streaming can be core to the value of your business, or whether you would prefer to go for outsourcing.
Take into account your infrastructure, and equipment, too.
You might be comfortable streaming directly to a definite number of external viewers, or a CDN, if you already have a strong datacenter on your premises having solid pipes leading to the Internet.
Internal live streaming can be taken care of with the help of one, or a few servers. It would depend on
- Network topology
- Number of viewers
- Multicast Network Enablement
and other factors.
It is not uncommon for companies to boost their internal streaming by reusing their old database and email servers for some other purpose.
The factors mentioned above are some of the fundamental ones that need to be taken into account when you set out to select the right video streaming workflow for the best of your business.
In case you want to know more on the subject of video streaming, you are most welcome to get in touch with us for a consultation – free of charge, but of course. You can share your ideas associated with video streaming with us, and we can have an enlightening discussion on this subject. After all, video streaming IS developing into one of the most lucrative business propositions ever, right?
You are welcome to approach us at Ascentspark Software if you want completely customized solutions related to video streaming, delivery, distribution, and monetization.