By Stephen Blankenship – Director, Product Management
Enterprise video programs offer businesses unique opportunities to engage their employees, create new revenues, improve operational efficiency and advance their training strategies. However, they also put significant stress on the network, creating potential performance disruption.
While there is a diverse array of networking challenges that come with a video program, there are a few especially common issues that can be resolved with the right supporting investments.
Dropped data packets
Ethernet networks are configured to allow a certain amount of bandwidth to travel through the infrastructure at any time. Data traverses the network as packets of information, usually pertaining to a specific function. If too many data packets are sent at once, the network will drop a packet and automatically resend it. If the network continues to be clogged, it will continue dropping packets and resending them.
For normal applications, this is not really a problem, as workers can deal with a second or two waiting for a data set to load within an application. But video works differently and is highly dependent on the data packet being sent without this latency.
To solve this problem, organizations have to develop a method of ensuring that data packets reach their destination without being dropped. This can be accomplished using quality of service tools, WAN optimization and a variety of other solutions, but none of those options are ideal for video because the content uses such large data packets that the network often needs more bandwidth. Instead, an enterprise content delivery network is often the best option because it provides the functionality of a traditional CDN, but brings that inside the corporate firewall, improving performance and security.
Dropped data packets are not the only issue that creates latency. Distance can also lead to considerable latency, especially in copper-based networks, which can experience electromagnetic interference that disrupts signal. With more companies functioning in multiple branch offices, the need to deal with distance is critical.
This is another area where an ECDN pays dividends, as the network provides a direct high-performance link for the video, minimizing most of the latency created by distance and ensuring consistent performance.
While there are plenty of ways that companies can overcome network disruptions caused by video, an ECDN often offers the most holistic option for businesses.