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On-demand has changed everything

Last year, Aereo made waves in the US by providing the ability for any one of their customers to watch Broadcast TV on a time delay. The eventual lawsuit by the broadcasters went all the way to the Supreme Court. Aereo lost the suit, and had to shut down their doors.

The reality is that time delay, replay TV, OTT, cloud DVR, et cetera (has any core technology had more variations and names?) is alive and well. In some countries, like the Netherlands, on-demand viewing is now simply a way of life. In other countries, like the United States, large providers are moving forward despite the potential of legal entanglements. It is simply too important to ignore.

Replay TV requires strong storage performance to simultaneously capture broadcast streams, while also serving up to millions of streams to the viewers. It requires linear and seamless scaling, both in terms of performance and capacity. Whereas small clusters of video servers may have been adequate for small video-on-demand (VOD) catalogs, cloud DVR requires a new architecture.

Traditional video serving companies have been in catch-up mode. Last week’s news that Concurrent, one of the legacy vendors, has now embedded object storage, is simply another validation of what leading customers have already implemented. Scale out, massive scale, high performance storage like the Scality RING is perfectly suited for the on-demand world. Storage can no longer be an afterthought, or packaged within the very limited confines of the video server appliance. On-demand has changed everything.

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