October 5, 2012

Article

Strategic planning vital for video success

By Kevin Crayton – VP of Product Management

Enterprise video strategies offer businesses the potential to engage their employees, hold better meetings and improve internal communications. As businesses work to develop video strategies, it is vital that they carefully plan their deployment to avoid network-related problems.

Performing initial network analysis
Deploying an enterprise video platform creates bandwidth consumption issues. Video consumes a large quantity of data and you have to make sure your network is ready to handle it. In some cases, an enterprise network already has the infrastructure in place to handle some aspects of a video program without significant issues. In others, dropped data packets and latency can derail efforts to deliver video effectively and slow application performance.

To get off to a good start with video, you have to understand how the content will impact your network. This involves, initially, analyzing how much bandwidth you have available and how much is already consumed by users. From there, you can compare that to how much data throughput you expect the network to use and get an idea if you have enough bandwidth in place.

However, just knowing bandwidth quantities is not enough. You also have to think about how data flows through the network and evaluate how the large packet size of video data will impact the WAN. This can clue you into to whether you will have latency and dropped data packet issues, even if you have enough total bandwidth.

Use a pilot project
Once you think you have a solid idea about how video will impact the network, it is usually best to test video on a small scale. This kind of pilot project will enable you to evaluate the real-life implications of video on the network and make strategic changes before putting the solution into use on a larger scale.

Invest in video-specific solutions
It is generally best to turn to a video-specific solution for data delivery. Broad network upgrades, such as WAN optimization, can help with a video program, but are not ideal because the media uses so much data. In many cases, an enterprise content delivery network is the best way to go. Unlike a traditional CDN, an ECDN brings data inside the firewall. You will also want to make sure it features multicasting or peer-assisted content delivery to optimize the network for video.

– Kevin