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3 video delivery myths and how ECDNs overcome them

Myths, misconceptions or presuppositions that are not accurate can prove to be major innovation roadblocks. However, it is also extremely easy for companies to fall prey to these ideas. In many cases, businesses will refuse to apply a technology to their operations until countless other organizations have proven a use case for fear that they will run into problems. Caution is important, but if you are constantly falling behind the competition through slow adoption cycles, your company won’t be in a good position for success.

It is vital to balance risk management and innovation to ensure that you are staying on top of your technological options, and learning to separate myths from truth is key when finding a way to deploy new solutions. This is incredibly evident in enterprise video strategies, as many companies are under the impression that they won’t be able to handle video, or at least not afford it, when new options are on the market that undo many longstanding industry presuppositions. Three particularly common video myths that are proven untrue through enterprise content delivery network services include:

1. Most WANs can’t handle video
It is true, and completely reasonable to believe, that most WAN systems are not well-equipped to support video. WANs are primarily designed to move Internet traffic, like websites, around, not to handle data-rich apps and services. Video data packets can put a huge strain on the WAN, so much so that you can’t reasonably expect to keep up bandwidth demands.

“ECDNs ensure that your WAN does not get in the way of your video program.”

Think of it this way. At times like March Madness, the Olympics and the FIFA World Cup, many IT leaders struggle with the idea that employees will be streaming sporting events during work. Even a few employees participating in this activity can derail network performance for everybody else. How much worse will it be when more than half of your company is getting together for a livestream event? It seems like it would break your WAN.

ECDN solutions are working around this problem. They use multiple video delivery methods and intelligent network controller solutions to move data strategically through your infrastructure, optimizing the way data moves through the network. In response, your WAN stops serving as a bottleneck and becomes another conduit that the ECDN can use to get data out to users. This is possible because an ECDN can use cloud-to-endpoint, endpoint-to-endpoint and endpoint-to-multiple-endpoints configurations to avoid any bottlenecks and optimize data delivery.

There is a grain of truth in this myth, as many WAN systems will struggle, on their own, to handle video. However, ECDNs circumvent this problem and ensure that your WAN does not get in the way of your video program.

2. Video will overwhelm your Wi-Fi network
This issue is incredibly similar to the problem with the WAN. Enterprise WLANs are generally using the LAN as backhaul to provide wireless connectivity to end users, primarily those using either work laptops or personal mobile devices. The LAN is usually capable of handling video, but when you start throwing Wi-Fi capacity in there, it becomes a huge problem. You can make some hardware upgrades to overcome this problem, such as going with IEEE 802.11ac-enabled routers and building some fiber backhaul to handle the added capacity. However, the cost of such a project is prohibitive, especially if you have to create new cable ducts to handle the fiber being added to your LAN.

Wi-Fi doesn't have to be a video roadblock.Wi-Fi doesn’t have to be a video roadblock.

This is another area where the intelligent routing offered by an ECDN comes in handy. By understanding how many devices are using the Wi-Fi network to connect to video content, the system can strategically route the data packets to avoid putting an excessive strain on either the LAN or the wireless system, making it much easier to avoid having bandwidth problems emerge along the way. Furthermore, the WLAN can make major Wi-Fi overhauls less important by alleviating the data throughput requirements. You still may want to make some Wi-Fi upgrades to support your mobile device users in general, but with an ECDN, there is no reason why your wireless network should hold back your video strategies.

3. Video is too expensive to be worth the effort
Enterprise video programs have traditionally been fairly expensive, and as they often get thrown in with strategies like teleconferencing, many have come to believe that video is entirely too expensive to be viable for all but the largest organizations. Video has a reputation for demanding companies to make significant hardware upgrades to add capacity to their network. They also need to add cameras, microphones and other video-specific tools to their technology portfolio. If companies are considering teleconferencing, which can add to the power of this myth, they need specialized telepresence rooms that create a greater sense of connection between your users. All of these infrastructure investments add up fast, leading to a staggering bill.

“Emerging ECDN tools are making video more accessible than ever.”

For many organizations, all of the upgrades are made and the technology is put in place, only to have the network still struggle as video plans get more ambitious over time. The problem is that hardware upgrades alone will often have a difficult time keeping up with the demands of video, and many companies have been burnt by this issue in the past. This has led to a fairly widespread belief that the only way to support enterprise video plans, particularly live streaming, is to put huge amounts of money into your systems.

ECDNs are single-handedly overcoming this issue. Software-defined networking principles are built around the idea that data can be moved freely through infrastructure in the event that the resources are abstracted from the hardware. ECDNs make that possible and create an entirely software-defined experience, letting you turn hundreds of thousands of dollars of potential upgrades into a simple monthly service cost. Furthermore, while ECDNs are designed for live stream events and similar strategies, they can still account for teleconferences and other high-bandwidth matters when developing routing strategies.

Video is a demanding technology, but it is not as problematic as its reputation makes it seem. Emerging ECDN tools are making video more accessible than ever, and in doing so disproving many myths surrounding the content format.