Delivering video with the highest levels of service is a key challenge for service providers. This week Alcatel-Lucent announced its' solution to the challenges of online video with the AppGlide Video Analytics service.
The AppGlide Video Analytics service measures data from multiple inputs in the network in order to help service providers deliver video more effectively.
"It collects Quality of Experience, (rather than Quality of Service) data from player-based plug ins (passive monitoring), QoE agents (active monitoring), CDN log files and from routers, so a mix of both," Mark Peterson, general manager, Alcatel-Lucent AppGlide venture told InternetNews.com.
Peterson explained that the Quality of Experience (QoE) measurements include multiple metrics such as, round-trip time which measures the time it takes from selecting content to starting to buffer. The system also measures buffering time, which is the time it takes to fill the buffer and start playing. Measurements are also collected for rebuffering incidents where a player pauses mid-stream as well as the total buffering time.
Deployment of AppGlide includes both cloud elements as well as on-premise.
"The majority of the AppGlide Video Analytics service for collecting, analyzing, correlating and reporting exists in a cloud environment," Peterson said. "The only element that needs to be deployed in a service providers network is the QoE agent, which actively downloads content and reports QoE, and it runs on a standard (1 RU) Linux server."
AppGlide currently is just a service for analyzing video and is not available for other sorts of application quality assurance purposes. Peterson explained that it's just for video, as the means of collecting data are specific to video as are the analytic correlations.
The service is also currently purely an analytics service and is not directly tied into the production systems such that service provides can make the data immediately actionable. That said, the data provided by the system is key to enabling a service provider to make changes that will improve the QoE.
Peterson explained that having the visibility into the video delivery experience enables the service providers to intelligently fine-tune the delivery, either by adding bandwidth, deploying an on-net (internal) CDN, or partnering with an off-net (external) CDN vendor to move popular content closer to the subscribers.
The key challenge that Alcatel-Lucent is aiming to help service providers solve with AppGlide is the challenge of visibility.
"They dont know what their subscribers are seeing and they also report that they know their subscribers may have stronger affiliation to the video content service than the service provider delivering that content, so subscribers are willing to switch service providers to have more reliable access to content," Peterson said.