Whether it’s March Madness basketball in the US or Champions League soccer in Europe, wherever there’s a live game or highlight video being streamed over an enterprise network, there’s a network manager trying to understand why there’s not enough bandwidth for the company’s critical Internet applications.
In addition, more and more companies are using video strategically, and without understanding the context by which video is being used, companies are powerless to deliver the application SLAs needed for today’s enterprises, according to a new video report from Exinda.
“We’re at a critical point for video in the enterprise right now, because when people speak about video traffic, they hear ‘wasted traffic,’” said Brendan Reid, VP of Product Marketing at Exinda. “Certainly a lot of video is recreational, such as watching cute kitten videos on YouTube or March Madness highlights. But the reality is, as we speak with companies, more and more they’re talking about strategic use of video for marketing, training, and unified communications. They need to know who is using it, what they’re using it for, what network conditions exist, etc., so SLAs for strategic video can be assured and recreational video can be constrained. Three years ago, content was king, today context is king.”
According to Jim Rapoza, Senior Research Analyst, Network and Application Performance at Aberdeen, any company that is just looking at one type of traffic— such as video—and trying to control it will be unsuccessful.
“The successful companies are doing an overall approach to optimization,” Rapoza said. “They’re getting all of their bandwidth control based on business rules and different application types. They’re identifying recreational traffic, so they know the difference between a YouTube video for fun and a YouTube video for work. They know what their end-users are doing and are working to provide the best user-experience possible.”
According to Exinda, this echoes the fundamental shift taking place in WAN optimization and Network Control, as focus moves away from throughput and towards a focus on assuring user-experience SLAs. “Customers are demanding more integrated, almost converged solutions around this point of user-experience, so that they can deliver the kind of SLAs they need for the different levels of traffic that they have in the network,” Reid said.
Enterprise network managers can use these three criteria from Exinda to determine if their network is ready to support the video revolution:
1. The ability to assess user and application context
Are you able to distinguish between traffic types and subtypes and within the context of users, groups and SLAs that are important to your business?
2. The ability to control and prioritize traffic
Do you have the ability to dynamically throttle bandwidth based on user, application time, location, SLA and other policies automatically?
3. The ability to monitor and assure user experience
Do you have monitoring in place to measure application user-experience and understand how to dynamically allocate more resources in real-time when needed?