VDO-X

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VDO-X (Or Video Exchange) is software to set up and manage a Content Delivery Network.

Overview[edit]

VDO-X is professional web-based management software to deploy and manage a Content Delivery Network. The software is focused at large size media assets and large volume delivery. It offers support for all major streaming delivery services and web servers. These services can be used in a mixed setup. VDO-X automatically senses the popularity of assets in specific regions of the CDN and automatically copies assets to edge servers near these regions. Viewers are redirected to these servers. In the case of unavailability, viewers are automatically redirected to other edge or core servers. VDO-X offers full self-provisioning for each user. Users can upload assets, manage assets, set up live streams and see realtime statistics. Many APIs are offered for deep integration with asset management, content management, transcoding, portal and billing systems. The flexibility and automation level of VDO-X allows a small staff to operate a CDN that handles thousands of delivery servers, thousands of customers and millions views per day.

Basic functions[edit]

VDO-X allows the administrator to:

  • Set up streaming media and web servers as core, fallback, overflow or edge servers
  • Cluster physicals servers into logical delivery farms and edges
  • Set up networks via manual IP addresses or GeoIP range
  • Link edge nodes and networks together for geographical optimization
  • Set up commercial hosting packages
  • Create account holders, hand out a product, and give them access to specific servers
  • Migrate servers and accounts on the fly

VDO-X allows the operator to:

  • Monitor the load and availability of each node in the CDN
  • View actual file transmission and checks between the nodes
  • Manage traffic from and to the nodes

VDO-X allows the account holder to:

  • Upload streaming media assets for VOD delivery
  • Upload any digital asset for file delivery
  • Set up mountpoints for live streams
  • Manage assets and mountpoints
  • View realtime delivery statistics for all the assets
  • Force distribute assets and relays to specific nodes
  • Generate embed codes and URL's for many media clients
  • View in-depth usage statistics

Standards[edit]

VDO-X is built around the latest web standards. VDO-X supports Flash Media Server, Windows Media Services, QuickTime Streaming Server, Wowza Media Server, Icecast, Internet Information Server and Apache. API's are open, including RSS, XML and SOAP. Metafile URL generation for many playlist types is supported, including MOV, QTL, XSPF, SMIL, RAM, ASX, XML and WML. Many media clients including QuickTime, Windows Media, Flash, Silverlight, 3GPP are supported. Logs are written in W3C format so they can be analyzed by many third party tools.

Next Generation CDN mechanisms[edit]

VDO-X is a software based solution versus network layer solution. Regular CDN's use a mix of network layer routing solutions, DNS or BGP redirection tweaks and caching/proxying mechanisms to build a CDN. This requires specific network components, specific DNS servers, specific delivery hardware and specific storage solutions.

VDO-X on the other hand is a software suite that runs on any generic web server. It can be rolled out in any IP network, and even on multiple IP networks without the need for depending on or changing the network infrastructure or its components. The result is more flexibility, and no dependency on networks, specific and expensive hardware.

Dynamic asset replication versus static asset replication

Instead of copying every asset to each server, VDO-X copies assets only to those servers that are connected to specific regions where the assets are popular. This is done instantly.

This saves copying time so assets are live within a few minutes. It also saves a lot of storage on edge servers/clusters/PoPs. And compared to plain caching/proxying, the VDO-X asset replication is controlled and manageable.

Dynamic server-network range matching versus static server-network matching

VDO-X lets you match any edge delivery server to any global ISP network or IP network range. This is N-to-N: you can match multiple networks to multiple servers. Matching is a matter of a click, and is instant. Other CDN's have static relays and changes can take days to become effective.

Dynamic user redirection versus static user redirection

VDO-X can immediately redirect an end user to any server in its distributed cloud based on the availability of servers and the IP origin of the end user. Like point 3, this is static with other CDN's and changes can take up to two days.

Integrated support for all streaming services, protocols and formats, plus web acceleration support Traditional CDN's offer web file acceleration and offer limited or less integrated streaming support. Most CDN's started with web acceleration and bolted on streaming support afterwards. All delivery servers in the VDO-X CDN can deliver any file and stream type so you can maximize resources utilization, and the web interface enables generic and integrated management features for all popular delivery technologies.

Extensive reporting

VDO-X shows load and availability of every server, accounts popularity, requests from networks, assets status, etcetera. Realtime reports are available for the CDN operator (CDN overview), for each content user (account overview) and for each asset. The CDN operator also has in-depth uptime, load and traffic reporting tools. Content users have in-depth historical reports.

User friendly, self-service web interface

VDO-X offers a full-featured yet user friendly web interface for managing their CDN account.

Unique IP VDO-X was developed in-house by lack of existing CDN technologies. The core technologies were developed before other CDN solutions came to market and the approach is different from other solutions so it is unique IP that is protected by Dutch and International laws.

History[edit]

Jet Stream BV, the developers of VDO-X started webcasting in 1994 and developed redirection, monitoring and log processing tools for their increasing number of large webcast projects. These tools were further developed into separate commercial products, alongside an integrated media delivery framework server with support for all major streaming protocols.

In 2002 Jet Stream launched a project called VDO-X to start an open CDN in the Netherlands. This project is adopted by all the ISPs and broadcasters in the Netherlands. Jet Stream has handed over the project to the Amsterdam Internet Exchange, the worlds largest internet hub. The AMS-IX Video Working Group is working towards an open CDN protocol. ISPs are implementing the protocol to offload streaming capacity to their own networks. In summer 2008 the European Champions League, the Tour de France and the Olympics were broadcast using the Open CDN approach.

In 2002 Jet Stream also launched the StreamZilla media delivery service, which is a popular CDN in Europe, with over 1 billion delivered views in six months and fast growing. This CDN with A+ status for global performance uses a European-wide network to distribute the content globally and is setting up edge servers to increase the performance and capacity in remote regions. StreamZilla is powered by XL Media Server and VDO-X.

In 2008 Jet Stream has integrated its content delivery management tools into an integrated web-based management environment, called VDO-X CDN 2008 Suite and is making the software available to the market. A preview of this release is available at the company website.

Market[edit]

VDO-X is used by many Dutch and Belgian broadcasters, and a growing number of European network owners, internet access providers, hosting providers and network operators. VDO-X is also used for a new nation-wide CDN in Russia. VDO-X 2008 is currently tested by a large number of network operators, carriers, hosting providers and CDN's from all continents.

Network owners are reluctant to outsource their content delivery to third party CDN operators: they pay a lot to distribute while their own infrastructure is unused. Using VDO-X, anyone with an IP network can upgrade their network to become a full-featured Content Delivery Network.

External links[edit]