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Edge Delivery and the Streaming Ecosystem

In order to best serve end users, how should content distributors both visualize and utilize the streaming ecosystem as it currently exists? “If you look at the different ecosystems and the edge infrastructures, there needs to be cooperation,” says Mark de Jong, Chairman, CDN Alliance. “Do we see any issues there? Is that an opportunity? Is that an issue we will end up with?” de Jong asks Jason Thibeault, Executive Director, Streaming Video Technology Alliance (SVTA).

“So, first,” Thibeault says, “I’m going to ask that we stop compartmentalizing network functionality for streaming media. There's no cloud, there's no telco. It's all distributed compute. It's a big fabric. And the reason I say that now is because most DevOps work in containers and containers within the microservices architecture are managed by solutions, which are cross-platform, cross-provider. So, I can have multiple clouds [and] multiple edges as part of my architecture.” Thibeault notes that this is a big change seen over networks in the past decade, due to evolutions in the concepts of network architecture such as network function virtualization (NFV). “We need to get out of that thinking of compartmentalizing and just see this as distributed compute that spans across providers,” he says.

Thibeault emphasizes that seeing compute fabric as a commodity is essential. “The resources themselves are a commodity,” he says. “When you start seeing it that way, providers want to come together to make sure that there's a standardized approach because if there's not a standardized approach, they're not going to be in the mix of that compute fabric that, let's say, a content provider like Disney is going to use to spread across all of their use cases for streaming video.”

Thibeault notes that this is a primary use case for Open Caching for content providers. In order for edge computing to be most effective for providers, they must collaborate on the things that are important to the end users of that distributed fabric. “Things like protocols and the way things interconnect and configuration interfaces and all of that stuff have to be standardized,” he says. At SVTA, he says, “We have lots of our member companies are already coming together to define some of the ways those things work. They're competitors, right? This is across the table from each other, but they know they have to work together, or the end customer is not going to use it.”

Learn more about Edge Delivery and the Streaming Ecosystem at Streaming Media West 2022.

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