Thursday, May 10, 2012

Sandvine: The Ups and Downs of Video Optimization

Few days after Sandvine's CTO warned that "buyers beware! Not all video optimization techniques are able to achieve the network savings that operators are seeking and the quality of experience that subscribers are demanding" (here), the company went further in pointing out the difference between its solution and the recently announced acquisition of Ortiva Wireless by its major competitor, Allot - although it does not have its own video optimization technology.

Sandvine announced that " has successfully deployed video optimization at nTelos Wireless with partner Mobixell. Sandvine’s patented divert technology has been successfully integrated with leading video optimization vendors and has been selected for six deployments worldwide in the last year alone. nTelos Wireless is one of the video optimization customers to date".
The Mobixell marketing team updated me that "nTelos is also a Mobixell customer in addition to the implementation with Sandvine .. the Mobixell Seamless Access Multiservice Platform at nTelos that delivers the optimization also serves a Web browsing gateway. It’s all part of a larger solution to provide services for a wide array of mobile subscriber needs".

The release does not mention optimization of Netflix traffic. According to Sandvine "Netflix and YouTube are the top two contributors of video traffic volume in mobile and fixed networks .. Netflix encrypts its video traffic using Digital Rights Management (DRM) techniques, so that data stream cannot be modified"

Source: Sandvine, Fall 2011 Global Internet Phenomena Report

So what is the differentiator, according to Sandvine? - " .. Accurately identifying traffic is a critical first step in optimizing video. Unlike certain competitive solutions, Sandvine’s granular identification and patented divert technologies create efficiencies in the optimization process and reduces traffic latency by diverting only relevant video traffic into third-party optimizers ..   Sandvine’s products extend beyond optimization and take into consideration video quality metrics [see "Sandvine Measures Youtube and Netflix QoE" - here]. Sandvine is the only Network Policy Control vendor that can provide quality metrics on streaming video such as duration, display characteristics and transport quality". 
See "Sandvine Optimizes Video at nTelos" - here.

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