By Kevin Crayton – VP of Product Management
An enterprise video program can sap a business’ network bandwidth faster than most other enterprise applications or data systems. Depending on the type of solution and the state of the corporate network, it may be possible to deal with video, at least on a small scale, without too much network disruption. But video content is inherently straining on the network, and there are a few major reasons why:
Video requires large quantities of data
Think about how many megabytes are needed to store a large picture at a high resolution. When dealing with video, you essentially have to deal with image upon image of data being animated and played for end users. The amount of data needed to store the images and other aspects of a video is exponentially higher than dealing with a single photograph. It is possible to compress video content when sending it through the network and decompress it when it reaches end users, but that only goes so far when it comes to reducing bandwidth required to support video delivery.
Video is often going to multiple users
A single data packet containing a single instance of a video probably will not have too significant of an impact on the network. But business video streaming solutions are usually deployed to transmit town hall meetings and similar events to multiple users simultaneously. Therefore, these large data packets have to be sent through the network in bulk, not just one at a time. This can put major strain on bandwidth.
Multicasting is a potential solution for organizations depending on video streaming. The solution sends video through the network as a single data packet then unpacks it on the other side to deliver it multiple users. This allows the content to get through the WAN without experiencing significant bandwidth problems, ensuring smooth delivery. However, it is also overwhelmingly complex to configure a system to support multicasting, as initial setup is difficult and frequent adjustments are required.
Peer-assisted content delivery allows video to be sent as a single instance to one user. Then it resides in the LAN cache until all of the individuals within the LAN have viewed it. In such a program, it is key that parameters are set as to which users are expected to view the content, ensuring that the system is able to identify who still needs to watch the video at any time.
Video may create significant bandwidth challenges, but the right solutions can make video work for your company, delivering considerable gains.