Charter, Verizon Among Group to Trial New ‘Open Caching’ Architecture

Streaming Video Alliance project aims to drive more scale, quality into online video
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Looking to pump more quality and scale into live and on-demand streaming, the Streaming Video Alliance said Tuesday that a group of ISPs, content delivery networks, vendors and content providers are set to test a recently approved “open caching” architecture that aims to drive more quality and scale into live and on-demand video streaming.

The SVA, a group formed in late 2014, to establish specs and best practices for video streaming, said the following companies will be the first to kick the tires on the new Open Caching Request Routing Functional Specification  – Charter Communications, Limelight Networks, Major League Baseball Advanced Media, Qwilt, Verizon, Viacom, ViaSat and Yahoo.

SVA, which timed the announcement as the CES confab gets underway this week in Las Vegas, noted that those parties will conduct “a range of use cases” of the open caching architecture during the trial, and report results of those tests back to the organization’s Open Caching Working Group. Trials will involve live and VOD traffic over HTTP and HTTPS using the new request routing specification for open caching, the SVA said.

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According to the problem statement posed by the SVA for the open cache project, current Internet architecture “does not support efficient, large-scale deployment of video services” across all elements of the delivery ecosystem. The solution envisioned by the SVA is to create a “symbiotic architecture” where video is distributed through a “universal cache function” from inside the operator network and close to the consumer.

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The proposed architecture features a “building block” for interconnection called the open cache node (OCN) that can be applied to multiple types of CDNs (commercial, content provider and operator). Among the cited examples is a “last mile” CDN extension for network operators that can reduce overall network transport costs and latency, improve the quality of experience for streaming, and offload the heavy lifting of popular content to the open caching layer.

“This is a monumental milestone for the organization and for video streaming,” Jason Thibeault, the SVA’s executive director, said in a statement.  “In addition to demonstrating our ability to create, endorse and publish the technical specification that will improve streaming experiences across the value chain, we are now bringing our work to market through proof-of-concept trials. This is the strongest possible signal to the industry that our members are determined to put the Alliance’s work into practice and improve the future of streaming profoundly.”

“The OC architecture enables new applications, and superior QoE [quality of experience] by taking advantage of the principle that ’closer is better’ when it comes to delivering content,” added Alon Maor, CEO of Qwilt and chair of the Open Caching Working Group.

Other members of the SVA include Adobe, Arris, Cedexis, Ciena, Cisco Systems, Comcast, Concurrent Computer Corp., Conviva, Encompass TV, Ericsson, Fox Networks, Hughes Satellite Systems, IBM, IneoQuest, Intel, Irdeto, Level 3 Communications, Liberty Global, MediaMelon,  Mobolize, Nagra, NBCUniversal, NCTA, NeuLion, Nice People at Work, Nokia, Nominum, Ownzonest, Sky, System73, Telecom Italia, Telstra, ViaPlay, Verimatrix, Vubiquity, and Wowza Media Systems.