Is your content delivery solution content agnostic?

At first glance, the challenges between delivering video content and delivering software content couldn’t be more different.

With video, dropped data packets and network delay can lead to significant performance problems such as stalling and buffering. While these millisecond delays are a non-factor for delivering software patches, for video it can significantly impact the quality of the viewing experience, especially as it places a short but intense demand on your network when your entire company tries to access the same content at the same time.

Software delivery has its own unique challenges. Cloud-based software updates and patches have gone from periodic, planned events to an almost constant occurrence. With the rise of Windows as a Service (WaaS), coupled with the massive damage that can take place from a single unpatched device, IT teams need a way to distribute, install, and verify installation of software across every device on the network before cyber attackers can strike.

While the content types and usages are quite different, in reality, their effect on your network is very similar. At the end of the day, bits are bits. A true enterprise content delivery network (ECDN) should be content agnostic, capable of optimizing the delivery of video data, software data, IoT data, or anything else you can think of.

Let’s look at how that works in practice. Microsoft’s System Center Configuration Manager (SCCM), frequently referred to as Config Manager, is the most common enterprise software management tool used today. But SCCM doesn’t deliver the content; it only manages the delivery.

Similarly, in the video world a front-end webcasting, a tool like Microsoft Teams live event is used to create and send out live video broadcasts to employees across the network. But Teams needs an additional technology to distribute the content to all employees.

In the video world, hardware-based multicast servers can be used to deliver live streaming content. In the software delivery world, companies use servers known as distribution points to deliver software updates and patches. In many ways, multicast servers and distribution points experience the same drawbacks. They can be expensive to purchase, time-consuming to provision, difficult to maintain, and lack real flexibility for dynamic networks.

That’s where an ECDN comes in. In both cases, an ECDN, like Kollective acts as the pipeline to deliver the content. Our distribution platform intelligently leverages your existing network infrastructure to deliver content faster, more reliably, and with less bandwidth through smart peering, no matter if its video content or a software update.

An ECDN is faster, better, and far more cost-effective than delivering content via hardware, but performance is only the beginning. Even if you chose to duplicate the content delivery performance using hardware, keep in mind that multicast servers and software distribution servers are virtually a “black box” when it comes to providing insightful analytics. You have no way of understanding how your video performed or if all your devices have received the most recent patch.

With Kollective ECDN, we collect actionable data about the performance of your network, your content, and your devices. Kollective IQ, our analytics platform, can tell you about potential bottlenecks within your network and provide you with insights into efficiency and engagement, looking at your entire network at the device level to see if all your endpoints are patched or exactly how many people watched your last CEO town hall event. The platform uses this data to self-optimize while giving you the insights you need to get more return on your network infrastructure and content investment, all in real-time.

With Kollective, one platform can provide multiple solutions for your content delivery needs, be it video or software. Learn more about our ECDN platform.

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