Video livestreams can overwhelm your network, but software-defined networking technologies are emerging to alleviate the strain. Video livestreams can be an invaluable asset in connecting your employees and supporting engagement strategies. However, you need livestream events to flow smoothly or you risk having your workers get frustrated and stop caring about key video meetings. Network optimization is critical in avoiding these problems, and SDN functionality can help you get the most out of your existing infrastructure resources. In many cases, SDN capabilities are getting so powerful that organizations are essentially creating a framework for software-defined everything.

Network optimization is critical in avoiding livestream performance problems.

Understanding the network challenges presented by video livestream events

On-demand video puts a strain on your network because the system needs to be ready to handle large data packets moving through the network at unpredictable times. Livestreams, on the other hand, present complete predictability – you know that users will all be trying to access the video stream at the same time. However, this means that the bandwidth challenges escalate because the same core video content will need to get out to a large number of users simultaneously. An enterprise content delivery network can be invaluable here by helping you optimize data routing through your network, letting the existing bandwidth available handle the high volume of content.

Imagine you have a company wide town hall meeting happening with thousands of employees attending via a livestream. That video data will be moving to all of those users at once, moving information initially through the WAN and then into the LAN to get to workstations. In most cases, the Ethernet network will send information to those users through a standard pathway based on the network’s design. For the most part, this will mean that the video data packets will often get in each others’ way, leading to dropped data packets and people potentially getting kicked off the event.

SD technology included in an ECDN solution can help you avoid this scenario.

Using SD ECDNs to smooth livestreams

Ensuring that livestream events run without a hitch depends on making sure that data moves through the network without any dropped packets or similar issues. SD technology lets network controllers choose the most intelligent route for each data packet, ensuring that it gets to users efficiently and without disruption. It can also prioritize different types of data moving through the network, ensuring that key data packets don’t run into any problems.

ECDN solutions provide SD capabilities through hosted network controller solutions that let you unleash the full power of software-defined networking without having to purchase and manage hardware. Getting smarter, not bigger, is key when trying to support livestream events, and SD technologies make that possible.