Juniper Networks hopes the purchase of media infrastructure company Ankeena Networks will lead to a technological collaboration, allowing Juniper to meet the surge in demand for rich-media content. Ideally, Juniper will be able to integrate Ankeena’s flagship application, Media Flow Director, into its Junos Ready Software group to offer high-performance content delivery networking and “3 Screen” media-delivery solutions for the next-generation service provider network.
Darrel Bowman, CEO of mynetworkcompany.com, a solution provider offering traditional and Web 2.0 technologies, says that it might not be smooth sailing for Juniper. “With the recent FCC ruling favoring Comcast and their right to restrict traffic over their network, there is in my mind significant concern over whether Verizon, AT&T or any other carrier will see mobile video streaming as a threat to their bandwidth and therefore limit or block it if it does not originate as a part of their services.”
Bowman has some advice for Juniper partners looking to delve into the rich media market, “I would urge caution to channel network companies when determining whether to go boldly or tread lightly into this new and expanding frontier of mobile video delivery. Right now I wouldn’t put my money in the mobile video streaming arena until Congress and the FCC work out a better Net Neutrality plan which guarantees access for all content across all networks regardless of carrier.”
Never the less, Christopher Furey, CEO of Virtual Density, a hosted services startup, believes that Juniper has made the right move “Juniper’s acquisition of Ankeena is a simply brilliant move. They understand
their place in the network supply chain and they know the value is no longer in the pumps and plumbing of the Internet. The real payday is in the payload and that’s all about the content. Anything they do to deliver richer media faster, is huge value-add and a game changer for all of their partners and ultimately for the end-user consumer who wants HD quality media on demand.”
Market factors and regulation will be the driving force behind the adoption of AnKeena’s Media Flow Director. After all, the technology itself is proven and the product is able to deliver to users a smooth-viewing experience regardless of the viewing device and varying network conditions. That advantage comes from Ankeena’s comprehensive support for different adaptive streaming technologies, which enable viewers to enjoy watching videos without any buffering or stuttering. A process that works by dynamically detecting the available bandwidth and varying the delivery bit-rate. The technology proves attractive to service providers as well, Ankeena’s Media Optimized multi-tier caching technology also provides up to a 10-to-1 reduction in the number of servers needed to deliver the same amount of media, with a similar reduction in transit network and media delivery costs. Once the advantages are highlighted and regulatory issues swept aside, it will ultimately come down to Juniper’s channel partners to make Junipers purchase of Ankeena a success.