Multicasting is a one-to-many network protocol that reduces traffic by simultaneously delivering a single stream, such as a live video stream, to hundreds or thousands of users. Enterprise networks must be multicast-enabled to take advantage of a multicast eCDN (enterprise content delivery network) solution.
How Multicast Works
A multicast sender retrieves a live video stream from a video source, often a cloud-based broadcasting platform, and sends it out over the multicast-enabled network. Depending on the network topology, additional senders may be placed in locations around the network to serve as forwarding engines. Then, viewing devices on the network, such as personal computers, each host receiver software capable of tapping into the broadcast stream.
The more you scale, the more your network becomes stressed. To help paint a picture, let’s say it takes approximately 4 mbps of bandwidth to webcast a single video stream. Just imagine what that would do to your network if you had 10,000 viewers watching. All of a sudden, your network would be flooded with 40,000 mbps of extra data traveling your network. It’s like trying to push a gallon of water through a straw all at one time.
Benefits of Multicast
A new generation of affordable multicast solutions is readily available in the market, allowing organizations to continue leveraging the investment already made in multicast network infrastructure. One of those is Ramp Multicast+.
Other advantages include:
- A single video stream is distributed across your network to reach every viewer
- Centralized management of network video traffic
- Efficient for WAN links and Wi-Fi
- Eliminates network traffic redundancy and reduces processing load
- Predictable and deterministic
When to Use a Multicast eCDN
If your organization grew through mergers or acquisitions, only portions of your network might be multicast-enabled. As a result, you might need to mix and match multicast, video cache, and P2P (peer-to-peer) to get the full benefits of deploying an eCDN.
MultiCast and Peer-to-Peer
In a hybrid scenario, you might use multicast in locations with large numbers of employees and Peer-to-Peer (P2P) technology, such as StriveCast Enterprise, in your smaller locations. P2P is a great solution to optimize video streams at locations with limited infrastructure.
Just as the name implies, P2P establishes a stable network between viewers requesting a stream. It connects users via WebRTC without the need for a plugin to be installed on the user’s device, making it easy to deploy and manage. When a user requests content, the system first checks for available peers within the network to deliver the content from. If this is the case, the content will be provided without connecting to the origin server.
Ramp Multicast+ is a next-generation multicast solution that overlays your existing network infrastructure. Multicast+ is the only vendor-neutral multicast solution for HLS and DASH video. Once deployed, Multicast+ serves as a common distribution infrastructure for all your enterprise streaming platforms.
To learn more about the benefits of Multicast+, read the Multicast+ Solution Brief or our technical whitepaper Multicast+: Next-Generation Multicast in the Age of HTML5.
Ramp is focused on helping every organization tap into the power of live and on-demand streaming video. Our enterprise content delivery network (eCDN) solutions drastically reduce the bandwidth needed to stream uninterrupted, high-quality video on corporate networks. Using multicasting, video caching, peer-to-peer networking, or any combination, Ramp is the eCDN for all—all enterprises, all networks, all use cases, and all streaming platforms. Visit rampecdn.com for more information.