Solving unpredictable video and data demand with ‘elastic’, surgical, cloud-based optimization platform
Mountain View, California, US, Wednesday, 23rd January 2013 – Skyfire, a leader in mobile video optimization and cloud solutions for mobility, today announced the launch of its enhanced video and data optimization platform for operators - Rocket Optimizer 3.0. In this release, Skyfire is offering four key new features, all contributing significantly to video and data optimization efficiency and end user experience.
As demand for mobile video soars, erratic surges in mobile data volume are a reality for operators. An ‘elastic’ approach is needed, where network capacity can expand and contract in line with active demand without adversely affecting the end user experience. Skyfire’s Rocket Optimizer, which already provides operators with a 60% boost in bandwidth capacity across smartphones, tablets and PCs, is announcing the addition of these new features in Rocket Optimizer 3.0:
- Measurement of bandwidth conditions in real time for every subscriber session on the operator network using Quality of Experience (QoE) Assurance, with instant and adaptive video optimization applied based on each individual user’s real-time quality of experience.
- A flexible, elastic CloudBurst Architecture that allows for instant expansion of optimization capacity to the carrier or public clouds
- Enhanced optimization algorithms for the MP4 and H.264 video standards
CloudCache – a cloud-based caching solution that brings significant reductions in operator server, peering and IP transit costs
“Snowballing mobile video usage and unpredictable traffic patterns are wreaking havoc in operator networks,” said Jeff Glueck, CEO of Skyfire. “Given the predictable rise in mobile video, but the unpredictability of its usage patterns, cloud-based optimization represents the ideal solution to meet mobile video demand and the optimization of the subscriber experience. With Rocket Optimizer 3.0, we are helping operators scale their networks to meet mobile video traffic demand and ensure that optimized video delivery is smoother and higher quality than ever before.”
Real-time Quality of Experience (QoE) Assurance
For the first time, wireless operators can measure and instantly manage session-level quality of experience, without the need to deploy an in-line appliance or RAN probe. Skyfire software can now measure bandwidth conditions in real time for all subscriber sessions on a network, and detect when a user on a poor connection is trying to stream high-quality video that will likely result in a frustrating experience. This measurement can now automatically invoke Skyfire's cloud-based Rocket Optimizer cluster to adapt that video to fit existing capacity - taking into account RF, backhaul and spectrum bottlenecks. The end result is an insurance policy that ensures better QoE for users on crowded towers, inside buildings or at the edge of cells, as well as a solution that can “rescue” users from frustrating stalls, long video start times, and other annoyances.
Rocket Optimizer 3.0 is a virtualized platform compatible with carrier cloud initiatives, and now allows operators to instantly expand optimization capacity to handle planned or unplanned spikes in network traffic. Additional optimization can be turned up in seconds as needed in the cloud – whether the carrier’s cloud or public clouds like Amazon EC2 - doubling or tripling capacity with the touch of a button. Only Skyfire’s flexible CloudBurst architecture allows for dynamic bandwidth elasticity that can stretch to sustain quality service delivery.
MP4 and H.264 Optimization
Skyfire, who pioneered the real-time optimization of MP4 video, the most prevalent standard for video delivery, also includes its third-generation algorithm in Rocket Optimizer 3.0 to bring a 30% lower bitrate to MP4 and H.264 video traffic, with zero degradation in viewing quality versus that achieved by the previous version of Rocket Optimizer. As smartphones and tablets ship with higher-resolution screens, and HD video becomes more prevalent, Skyfire has responded by ensuring that optimized video delivery is more smooth and higher quality than ever before.
Rocket Optimizer 3.0 also adds the ability to transparently cache video and large images in the cloud the very first time they are optimized, which reduces the number of servers required in the cloud or data center, as well as an operator’s peering and IP transit costs. CloudCache pools available storage across Rocket Optimizer servers providing a multi-terabyte cache with zero incremental hardware cost. Rocket Optimizer’s policy engine provides wireless operators with total flexibility to set their caching policies to provide maximum benefit across their operations.
“What Skyfire is delivering with Rocket Optimizer 3.0 maps directly to the demands we are hearing from mobile operators to deliver mobile video Quality of Experience (QoE) with a solution that scales rapidly and cost effectively, manages unpredictable peaks, and increases video delivery to multiple devices without requiring additional network capacity”, noted Susan Welsh de Grimaldo, Director Mobile Broadband Opportunities at Strategy Analytics. She added “This year mobile operators are extremely focused on improving QoE to reduce churn, improve customer satisfaction and monetize video traffic. As operators move to cloud-based virtualized network solutions, Skyfire meets both their customer-facing and network requirements.”