Entone Introduces Armada Intelligent Asset Manager

Entone Technologies (Booth 526) has deployed an approach to managing video on-demand assets designed to dramatically improve the economics of VoD service delivery.

The companys Armada asset allocation solution goes beyond traditional, static VoD content distribution systems by dynamically and cost-effectively placing video assets in the appropriate location and storage media based on their real-time popularity. The net effect is up to a 60 percent reduction in operating expenses compared to traditional manual techniques.

Over the last couple of years, we have seen VoD server platforms such as Entones StreamLiner make enormous strides over first-generation servers in terms of performance, says Mark Evensen, vice president of product development for Entone. The greatest pain point for operators is no longer about how many streams they can get out of a given rack unit of hardware, but how they are going to manage their massive libraries of video assets across multiple geographies, storage media and server configurations. Entone sets itself apart from other vendors in its ability to address this problem.

The Armada asset allocation system anticipates RAM will be the most appropriate storage medium for the most popular but few video assets in a library. Nevertheless, the cost of RAM storage is much more expensive than other storage options which are more appropriate for less popular long tail content.

RAM-based streaming has become a standard feature among video servers but is really only practical for the most popular titles, says Tim Warren, CTO of Entone. The challenge that Armada addresses is how to cost-optimally manage the ingest, storage and delivery of assets across a system that may include thousands of titles. By optimizing network bandwidth and asset storage resources, Armada increases efficiency while decreasing operational cost.

Entones analysis, based on its own tests and feedback from field deployments, shows that Armada can increase resource efficiency by more than 30 percent.

Armada distributes assets in real time to the most optimal storage, server or network based on real-time usage data. This compares to other video server solutions that typically rely on a static best-guess approach to asset placement. Since viewer behavior cant always be predicted, Armada continuously makes adjustments to storage assignments so that every storage device is fully utilized with the right balance of streaming capacity

to storage space. The result is an optimal equilibrium of asset supply and demand, thus dramatically improving the business case and total cost of ownership for VoD service delivery.

Armada is based on Entones StreamLiner VoD architecture, which leverages commercial off-the-shelf hardware from vendors such as HP and IBM Corp., and transforms them into high-performance specialized video servers. StreamLiner-enabled servers deliver superior performance, reliability and a cost of ownership that is lower than other video servers.

Armada was a key part of why we selected Entone, says Eirik Gundergjerde, CTO of IPTV pioneer of Lyse Tel. It was important to have a distributable system so our servers could be located across the country with assets allocated in the most cost-effective fashion. The Entone StreamLiner and Armada combination provides excellent management tools for a distributed solution with the flexibility to support our evolving needs.

Armada currently is available and already is deployed with some of the worlds leading video service operators, including Hong Kongs PCCW, Norways Lyse Tel, as well as Consolidated Communications and Pioneer Long Distance in the United States.

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