Streaming to multiple locations using a P2P eCDN with subnet matching

StriveCast Blog

How StriveCast set up a P2P eCDN for one company streaming to 40+ locations

This article explains how StriveCast implemented subnet matching to solve a problem that many P2P eCDN providers struggle with: Setting up an efficient P2P network for multiple locations using the same (corporate) network. To understand the challenge behind it, let’s first take a look at how Peer-to-Peer (P2P) networks work for enterprise content delivery:

What is a P2P eCDN? A P2P eCDN allows companies to deliver high-quality, scalable live video streams at minimum bandwidth requirements. It works by establishing connections between the devices streaming the video content. Once connected, these devices can cache and share video data, as they are streaming the same content at the same time.

This approach of sharing live video content lets companies save up to 95% bandwidth – making high-quality enterprise streaming possible without any network congestion.

Now, let’s assume a large company wants to stream their town hall meeting to 2,500 employees. This is an ideal use case for a P2P eCDN: Typically, the provider will group clients into peering groups close to each other according to their proximity. However, this exact approach can turn out to be a problem for instance when a company’s corporate network is divided into multiple subnets.

What is a subnet?

A subnet is a small network inside a larger network. Companies use subnets to structure their corporate network into smaller, more efficient subnetworks – for example, one subnetwork per office location. This structure avoids unnecessary routing of traffic and thus increases the network speed. You can find more information about subnets here.

Why subnets are a challenge for Peer-to-Peer networks:

Many large companies use subnets to structure their companies’ networks because their usage can relieve network congestion and improve network security.

Coming back to our example: The company wants to deliver a live video stream to its 2,500 employees. However, these are distributed among 50 different office sites (and subnets). Although the employees are geographically spread, they are still accessing the live stream via the same corporate network. An ordinary P2P provider would continue to match and group different peers via their IP addresses. The problem? It might be that there will be relatively inefficient connections between clients from location A (Hamburg) and location B (München), which are roughly 700 kilometers apart.

Now, instead of relieving the network, as a P2P eCDN should, it establishes inefficient connections between peers that are far too apart. This even strains the network more, leading to known streaming problems like low quality, accessibility issues, and long buffering. In summary, inefficient connections are slowing down media delivery.

This scenario is not a single case. Most large companies have multiple office sites in addition to their headquarters.

Does that mean P2P technology is not ideal for companies streaming to multiple locations?

Absolutely not. StriveCast uses subnet matching to efficiently group peers streaming in one corporate network and avoid inefficient connections. Here’s more on how we do that:

StriveCast Subnet Matching with a centrally managed P2P network

StriveCast offers cloud or on-premise hosting of our P2P solution. When choosing on-premise, we place a managed server (StriveCast Peering Manager) inside the corporate network. As the server is set within the corporate network, it can recognize different subnets and has a stable connection to every client accessing the video stream. Basically, the StriveCast Peering Manager can overview the whole network, including the different subnets. Knowing where the clients are located, StriveCast only sets up a peering connection for those devices which happen to be in the same subnet.
The result: Efficient media delivery for an unlimited number of viewers and locations

In addition to that, StriveCast offers a free of charge infrastructure validation. In this validation, we can determine different subnets and use this for the peering setup.
This way, subnet matching with P2P eCDN video delivery is also possible via a cloud solution.

subnet matching, Streaming to multiple locations using a P2P eCDN with subnet matching

“Subnet matching is an essential feature for almost every large company that wants to stream efficient live video via a P2P network. StriveCast’s approach to solving the problem with subnets in corporate networks means no additional work from the client’s side. This feature is a huge step for us in our goal to make enterprise streaming accessible for everyone.”

Christopher Probst-Ranly, CTO and Co-Founder of StriveCast

Real-life example: Setting up a reliable live stream for 1,000 viewers in 40+ locations

Amprion is one of the four biggest transmission system operators in Germany. In the last quarter of 2020, they needed a live stream solution for their company town hall meeting. Using StriveCast’s P2P eCDN, they were able to deliver a high-quality, seamless video stream addressing more than 1,000 employees in over 40 locations. The locations were divided into different groups via subnet matching and could therefore utilize P2P connections. In total, StriveCast achieved average bandwidth traffic of 430 Mbps with a total of 87% bandwidth savings.

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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