Virtualization for Media Publishers, CDNs, and Operators: Streaming Forum Preview

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The infrastructure of content delivery and publishing is moving into its third generation, and this is increasingly virtualized. In a session at this year's Streaming Forum,  Streaming Media contributing editor Dom Robinson, a 20-year industry veteran whose company id3as has worked with multiple telco and broadcast operators delivering internet scale and high availability end-to-end virtual workflow and microservice platforms from their own unique code base.

The session, called "Virtualization for Media Publishers, CDNs, and Operators," will be split into two parts: First, Robinson will offer a brief run through the history of the industry, then he'll conduct a fireside chat with a panel who have keen insights in the current market. For the first 15 to 20 minutes, Robinson will give a very quick high-level overview of the evolution of the streaming and CDN space, and also look at the macro-economics of the telecoms, IT, and broadcast environment in which they operate. He will look at the conditions that gave birth to the streaming media market, ranging from the regulatory pretext in the telecoms markets to the arrival of the internet and the economics and technology that was adapted to meet that market demand.

He'll explore the basic architectures of CDN models that have arisen, including those of pureplay, IPTV, OTT, and operator CDNs.  Dom will demonstrate parallels with the general IT industry, and evolution in IT/IP Network design, including the arrival of the GPU as an integrated part of the off-the-shelf computing chipset. Robinson has written often about this for Streaming Media, and he breaks this evolution into three eras: Gen 1 being dedicated application server, Gen 2 being VM-based software architectures, and Gen 3 being driving by "micro-services" and the container model.

Robinson will talk a little about id3as’ approach in pioneering in this space for 7 years, and take a look at a high -vailability platform the company demonstrated at IBC and NAB last year—one that clearly demonstrates that virtualisation brings more than just agility, delivering service velocity and high availability as well.

The session will then turn to the panelists, and will discuss their strategies in a fireside chat mode, with particular regard to media processing, content delivery, and virtualization. The panelists—Jeff Webb, principal streaming architect at Sky; Andy Conway, key account manager at Kontron; and Mike Ory, engineering manager, video platforms at Verizon Digital Media Services—span hardware and both broadcast and telecoms operations.

Robinson will ask them to discusscurrent projects and the advantages that virtualistion has given them (or their clients), and also to talk about where they see the market evolving—looking both at areas that are certainly heading toward virtualization, as well as possibly areas that may never move to virtualization.

While this is a technical panel, topics will mainly be addressed from a high-level perspective, and so it should be of interest to those who are making forward-looking strategic decisions about their supplier strategy or their own architectural design and commercial positioning.

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