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Bitmovin Live Encoder-Akamai Connected Cloud Integration Promises Lower Egress Costs and OpEx Reductions up to 90%

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On March 27, Bitmovin announced the availability of its Live Encoder running on Akamai Connected Cloud, promising increased efficiencies for large-scale streams and substantial reductions in data transfer out (DTO) costs that may translate to as much as 90 percent lowered operation costs overall. 

Hot on the heels of this announcement arrived news this week that One Football, a major digital football platform affiliated with such leading clubs as Real Madrid, Manchester City, and FC Bayern Munich, is now deploying Bitmovin Live Encoder running on Connected Cloud for the delivery of high-quality streams in conjunction with key global broadcast partners such as Sky Sport, DAZN, and Globo. One Football live-streams matches on a free, ad-supported or pay-per-view basis to 200 million football fans worldwide, with pre-existing streaming architecture that supports up to 1,000 live matches per month. The platform’s new deployment of Bitmovin Live Encoder running on Akamai Connected Cloud is intended to significantly expand the number of streams they can deliver each month.

The claim that streamers implementing Bitmovin Live Encoder with Akamai Connected Cloud can see OpEx reductions up to 90% resulting from on lower DTO or egress costs is a striking one. Bitmovin CEO and Co-Founder Stefan Lederer explains that using Bitmovin and Akamai in tandem reduces DTO “by adding a couple of different value propositions. By having the our SaaS deployments integrated with Akamai Connected Cloud, customers can now deploy our software to Akamai Connected Cloud with a simple ‘start live encoding command’ with Akamai selected as the cloud provider and then leverage output directly to MSL4 and the Akamai CDN for zero egress no matter the output. Additionally,” he continues, “customers that wish to use a multi-CDN strategy can take advantage of Akamai's generous free egress allotments, and our HD presets are designed to provide maximum quality and keep within the free egress threshold with some headroom. This excess free usage can return to the global pool and be utilized for other egress out.”

“Akamai has built interconnects with the major cloud providers,” adds Dan Lawrence, VP of Cloud Computing at Akamai. “These establish private, dedicated connectivity between our platforms and provide a foundation for managing traffic without compromising on performance and improving reliability. Where Akamai has interconnects there is zero egress.”

Lawrence goes on to explain that managing content traffic more efficiently also contributes to egress cost reductions. “Akamai has also developed solutions tailored to specific industry needs including video delivery, content delivery, data, and compute workloads,” he says. “These save customers money on egress costs because we can limit the traffic to their cloud origins and eliminate round trips that increase egress costs for application traffic. We then add to those savings by eliminating egress fees that a customer might typically pay to their cloud provider for intra-platform traffic. Traffic within Akamai’s cloud platform and between the cloud and CDN does not incur egress fees.”

Lederer adds that with Bitmovin Live Encoder, the “origin source of the inputs can come from anywhere, but we recommend placing our Live Encoder as close to the ingest origin as possible. In that sense,” he continues, “working with Akamai and their expanding number of global data centers will continue to enhance our joint offering. We can continue adding support for more regions and reduce the distance between our ingest points and single-bitrate contribution devices sending us signals using SRT/RTMP or Zixi.”

Bitmovin Live Encoder currently runs on several clouds, including Azure, Google Cloud, and AWS in addition to Akamai. He contends that streamers already using Akamai’s CDN will principally benefit from using Live Encoder for both its ability to respond to variable traffic conditions but also its impact on latency and QoE: “Customers using Akamai as a CDN vendor or wishing to use the Connected Cloud offering can benefit from placing our software in the Akamai Connected Cloud solution. Not only can we deploy rapidly to meet peak traffic demands and then easily scale down again, as we can in all clouds, but by outputting our HLS and DASH streams with CMAF to Akamai MSL4 and and the Akamai CDN using CMCD we can reduce latency and increase Quality of Experience.”

He notes that One Football’s deployment of Live Encoder running on Akamai is “utilizing both vendors’ combined experience to aid them in fine tuning their setup.”

Bitmovin also promises that streamers deploying Live Encoder with Connected Cloud can leverage its potential to deliver new content monetization opportunities to users, although Lederer hastens to note that “this is not something exclusive to Akamai per se. In Q1, we added support for SCTE-35 pass-though in Live Encoder and ran validation tests with SSAI vendors in combination with our player. Of course, the more components in the chain that we can test and validate, especially with complex SSAI workflows, the better we can support our customers when they come to configure these workflows.”

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