Looking for an edge in the streaming wars? Look to data storage

Consumers now have countless streaming services to choose from, and it looks like they just keep coming. For streaming companies, the landscape is more competitive than ever and as consumers begin to spend more time away from home with more alternatives to streaming, every little detail matters when it comes to attracting and to retain subscribers. This is why nothing can be overlooked when it comes to finding an edge in the market.

Streaming services are looking to grow their subscriber base, serve more viewers, and manage a growing content portfolio, especially higher frame rate and higher quality content (like 4K or 8K streams , for example). These organizations need to take a deeper look at their technology infrastructure, especially data storage, and how it can help the CDN ecosystem deliver more efficiently and cost-effectively to the edge.

The role of storage in streaming
To understand how the industry can properly invest in data storage, one must first recognize the full potential it brings. Data storage is playing a more critical role in the streaming industry as the industry becomes more and more data intensive.

Data storage is especially important when it comes to processing increasing amounts of data as close to the edge as possible and as quickly as possible, with low latency and at the lowest operating costs for the process. content distribution. Cost savings for providers could also mean lower costs for subscribers, giving them more incentive to choose one service over another. As streaming services continue to serve more and more viewers and subscribers with a plethora of devices, the need to bring content delivery networks closer to the people who use them becomes more complex, but also increasingly no longer necessary.

Different content delivery approaches require different amounts and types of storage and compute. For example, providers can save on storage capacity by transcoding video on the fly or creating different datasets for the appropriate end-user device, depending on their connection speed and device type. that they use. This alternative to streaming directly requires high-performance, low-latency storage, as well as high-performance processors and acceleration capabilities.

Industry Considerations
As the industry seeks to stay ahead of these demands, it must explore innovative new approaches to data storage. One idea is Composable Disaggregated Infrastructure (CDI). CDI’s goal is to move away from the days of a pre-integrated silo of compute, networking, and storage, and emerge with something more flexible, more responsive, more scalable, and much more easy to automate.

The “D” in CDI is particularly relevant to the streaming industry. Disaggregation occurs at the hardware level. By creating pools of network, storage, and compute technology resources, these resources, through software, can be easily and even automatically provisioned (and deprovisioned) for applications as needed.

This allows for greater control over real-time resource allocation so that each application receives optimized levels of processing, storage, and networking, scaled independently of each other.

For the streaming ecosystem and CDNs in particular, this blended approach can deliver high performance and low latency, two critical factors for all content streaming applications. From a cost perspective, if done the right way, it also means lower cost per gigabyte per second, and ultimately lower cost per subscriber and viewer. These cost savings can easily translate into a greater investment in new and exciting content, or perhaps lower subscription prices for consumers.

The best part of this approach? He is evolving. Think of CDI as efficient building blocks, like everyone’s favorite colorful plastic construction toys, meeting the demands of today and tomorrow. As streaming services deliver content to more viewers and subscribers, just add more blocks.

Sometimes these blocks will be for processing, sometimes for storage or networking. With the ability to disaggregate and then compose block by block as needed, streaming companies can ensure that they are not over-provisioning on a single thing, which is more process- and cost-efficient.

In an industry where there are a growing number of players, devices and types of content, standardization from an infrastructure perspective is essential. The ecosystem must work together through open industry-wide collaboration and alliances to ensure that best practices and good specifications are kept in mind. This will create the strongest and most efficient content delivery infrastructure, based on open standards and resources to create the best possible return on investment and viewing experience.

Look forward
So where does the media and entertainment industry go from here? With the right data storage infrastructure in place, the sky is the limit. In a world of 4K, 8K, and even more immersive industry-wide experiences like gaming, the industry is profiting by investing in the most cutting-edge and advanced data storage technologies and approaches available.

The streaming industry runs on data, and having the best possible basics and data efficiency will become increasingly valuable regardless of where the industry is going next.

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