Enterprise Video Delivery: Video Caching

StriveCast Blog

By: Gil Mayrand, Ramp Director of Partner Enablement and Solutions Architect

In recent blog posts, our partners at Ramp, who specialize in video caching and multicast, addressed Creating a Stable Enterprise Video Network and introduced you to multicast eCDN. Today, Gil Mayrand, Director of Partner Enablement and Solutions Architect at Ramp, explains how video caching works, the use cases where it is most beneficial, and provides an overview of Ramp OmniCache.

Caching Defined

Caching technology has been around for quite some time, and you’re probably familiar with it as it relates to web content. The concept of caching is fairly simple. Caching hardware or software optimizes the transfer of data on a network to improve performance for users.

When the first user requests data—such as images, files, or web objects—the cache stores the data for future requests. By doing so, the data is delivered more quickly and efficiently to the next user who requests the data. At Ramp, we’ve applied this same concept to enterprise video streaming.

How Video Caching works

Video Caching, Enterprise Video Delivery: Video Caching
HTTP caching servers are specifically designed for video. They are deployed in strategic locations around the network, such as at the edge of the enterprise WAN and close to users in regional and branch offices. Upon the first request for a streaming video, the cache retrieves it from the video source and stores a local copy to distribute to subsequent viewers. Now, fewer video streams are sent across the corporate internet connection, and less video is traveling from source to viewer. As a result, you reduce the volume of traffic on the network.
By caching video closer to viewers, you also reduce buffering and latency and improve startup times. Because the video has less distance to travel, it encounters fewer opportunities to be impacted by the effects of network performance. Viewers enjoy better playback quality and viewing. The distribution of caching servers gives you flexibility with your deployment. You can easily scale as the demand for more video increases over time. Some advanced caching solutions support hierarchical or mesh topologies and intelligent routing for even greater scalability and resiliency.

Benefits of a Video Caching eCDN

In addition to network optimization and a higher quality user experience, video caching software has many benefits, including:
Alongside these use cases, the most commonly used communication tools are resembling well-known EVP platforms. According to our survey, among them are Microsoft Teams, Zoom, Skype or Skype for Business, Cisco Webex, and Google Hangouts.

When to Use a Video Caching eCDN

As you research which eCDN or combination of eCDNs is right for your enterprise, you’ll need to look closely at the configuration of your network. In addition, think through how you’re using video today and how you plan to use it moving forward.

As previously mentioned, a video caching eCDN is ideal if you are streaming both live webcasts and on-demand video. And like P2P (peer-to-peer), caching doesn’t require a client to be installed on viewing devices. Any device with an HTML5 browser is supported, including smartphones and tablets.

It is also a good solution if you require employees to use a VPN while working away from the office. In this scenario, only the caches would request videos directly from your streaming platform in the cloud, and viewers will retrieve it from the cache over VPN. This keeps video streaming from passing in and out of your network twice, which reduces traffic on the corporate network and avoids VPN hairpinning.

Video Cache and Peer-to-Peer

Since every network is unique and may have a different topology from location to location, you may need to use more than one type of eCDN. The three main types of eCDNs are video cache, multicast, and P2P. Each has its own relative strengths and weaknesses. To learn more about each type of eCDN, read Ramp’s Guide to Selecting the Right eCDN Technology.

In locations where you have large numbers of employees, you could use a video cache (or, if you have a multicast-enabled network, a multicast eCDN). Then, in locations where you have limited infrastructure, you can utilize P2P technology like StriveCast eCDN.

Video Caching, Enterprise Video Delivery: Video Caching

StriveCast’s P2P eCDN uses WebRTC to create a network between end-user devices accessing the same video. When a viewer requests video content, the system first checks to see if it is available from peers on the network. If so, it pulls the video from the peer instead of retrieving it from the video source. If it doesn’t, it retrieves it directly from the video source.

Using a combination of eCDN solutions is a common approach because it allows you to efficiently stream video to all viewers regardless of their location.

Ramp OmniCache

Ramp OmniCache is an intelligent video caching eCDN that replaces expensive infrastructure upgrades with a lower cost, flexible solution. This lightweight, software-only solution runs on your existing hardware and supports virtually any streaming video source and player technology on any device.

OmniCache gives you total control over your eCDN environment. It’s deployed and managed 100% behind your firewall with built-in security to prevent unauthorized access to your videos. You can also pre-position videos during times of low network activity to avoid spikes in bandwidth during large-scale VOD events such as pre-recorded executive messages or required trainings. To learn more about Ramp OmniCache, read the OmniCache Solution Brief.

About Ramp

Video Caching, Enterprise Video Delivery: Video Caching
Gil Mayrand, Director of Partner Enablement and Solutions Architect at Ramp

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.

About StriveCast

StriveCast is a leading technology provider for eCDN solutions. Our WebRTC-based P2P mesh network is used by large companies like Swisscom, Siemens, and NEP group to solve the problem of network congestion during live events. Based in Germany, we are constantly improving and adapting our cutting-edge P2P technology in order to provide the next generation of enterprise video delivery. Today, StriveCast connects over 150,000 users worldwide on a daily basis, saving customers up to 95% of CDN traffic with a unique server-side-managed Peer-To-Peer network.

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