Intelligent Content Networking

Executive Summary

The rapid growth of consumer Internet traffic, mainly due toincreased viewing

of video content via their broadband connections (known as “Over-the-Top”

Video or OTT Video), is driving increased stress on serviceprovider networks

and business models. The frequency, duration, and resolution ofcontent

requests are increasing, which has a dramatic effect onbandwidth requirements.

As we enter into the era of Hyperconnectivity, more and moredevices

are accessing this rich content anywhere, and at anytime. Demandis accelerating

quickly as more content (for example mainstream movies and TVshows) is

becoming available and broader set of Internet-connected devicesare able to

access it.

The ability to manage the delivery of certain content types andreduce

bandwidth requirements over Middle Mile, core, and Internettransit networks

can improve profitability for service delivery. IntelligentContent Networking

reduces the strain on the network and improves the userexperience by serving

a broad range of popular, frequently accessed content closer tothe subscriber,

reducing service delivery and internet transit bandwidthrequirements.

Video Takes Over

From peer-to-peer downloads to online gaming, from instantmessaging to

email, from web to video the amount of internet traffic isgrowing significantly.

Video content is rapidly changing the composition of consumerinternet traffic

and is anticipated to make up nearly 60% of requests by 2014.The growth of

video will continue as subscribers’ viewing habits change frombroadcast to

on-demand—at home and on mobile devices—and with higherdefinition

and increased availability of mainstream content, such as moviesand television

series, being offered via the Internet.

Is your network ready for next wave of Internet traffic?

The prevalence of IP-based video has greatly affected the makeupof the packets

traversing a residential internet connection which now includesmultimedia

content, communications, and data; it is the primarycommunications link to

many residences.

31%

46%10%

Operators and Users Win with Intelligent Content Networking

Irrespective of the type, OTT content puts significant stress onthe network

because it must traverse internet peering connections, corenetwork infrastructure,

Middle Mile connections, and finally the access network to bedelivered.

An individual subscriber’s request for video content, where auser is highly

utilizing their connection for a long period of time, has acompound effect on

the network as subscribers’ linear-based requests areaggregated, causing

network congestion and sub-optimal quality of experience (QoE).

The traditional approach to address bandwidth growth, reducecongestion,

and ensure customer satisfaction is via incremental networkoverlays and

increased Internet transit capacity. This is effective toaddress bandwidth

requirements, but it’s not efficient from an economic standpointas overlays

drive additional CAPEX and OPEX. Considering that the averagerevenue per

user (ARPU) will stay static (if not diminish with increasedcompetition), this

continued investment fuels a divergence of cost and revenue,leading to less

profitable service offerings.

Secondly, as a subscriber’s internet connection usage grows morebandwidthintensive

with OTT and other sources of video, the experience willdeteriorate.

This is based on time to download and view content as well assystem response

times for control commands (play, pause, etc.). As expectationscontinue to

become more difficult to meet, more service complaints will belogged and

subscriber churn will increase as they move to competitiveservice offerings.

An alternative content delivery approach, that is beneficial toboth service

provider and customer, is needed. This approach will need todeliver content

effectively and efficiently, provide a high QoE for theend-customer, and limit

the service providers’ requirements to augment the network.

Intelligent Content Networking at your service

Intelligent Content Networking is a new approach thatdistributes frequently accessed

content closer to the subscriber, at the edge of the network, to

expedite downloading or streaming and limit the impact ofrepetitive requests

on the entire network. This approach allows for reuse of thelocally cached

content and provides:

â– â– Subscriber value: an improved quality ofexperience. Content is rapidly

accessible and system control requests are reacted to quicklybased on the

content being sourced from a much closer location

â– â– Network Operator value: with a sizeablereduction in the bandwidth

required to serve content over the network and internet transitpoints,

this defers investment in network capex and opex.

How does it work?

Intelligent Content Networking focuses on data sessionsestablished between

Service Provider subscribers and Internet content sources, suchas Web servers,

CDN networks, P2P nodes etc., supporting all of the HTTPservices and P2P

protocols. As shown in Figure 3, applicable content requests areanalyzed

and classified on the basis of file type, and are assessed basedon download

frequency, size of file, last download, etc., to determine theircaching potential.

Frequently requested—popular—media files are held locally,whereas

infrequently or rarely requested files will continue to besourced from farther

back in the network.

For subsequent requests, the content cache will determinewhether the

requested file has been previously stored and determine theintegrity of the

content to ensure that it is valid, up-to-date, and what thesubscriber requested.

If this is the case, it will stream or download the file to therequesting

subscriber(s). By serving the data from the edge of the network,traffic over

transit and peering links is reduced and delivery isaccelerated.

â– â– Flash video services (YouTube, Yahoo Video,MSN Movies)

â– â– Software updates (operating system andanti-virus)

â– â– Peer-to-peer file sharing (music, podcasts,movies)

â– â– HTTP downloads (user manuals, productbrochures)

In addition, the content cache, in conjunction with a networkelement that is

tasked with redirection of user’s requests for cacheablecontent, will let other

forms of traffic bypass this redirection point.

Are there Concerns for Copyright Infringement?

Content delivery can be fraught with legal complexity; howeverthe Digital

Millennium Copyright Act—USA (DMCA) and other similar documentswere

authored to recognize caching of P2P and HTTP-streaming contentfor the

purpose of network efficiency and without modification as legaland protected

by law. Similar documents in the European Union (EU) alsoprovide guidance,

acknowledge the requirement, and protect network operators fromliability

for routing, caching and hosting 3rd party content.

The transparent caching strategy used within Intelligent ContentNetworking is

fully compliant with the procedural “safe harbor” requirementsof these legal

acts. A transparent caching strategy works by intercepting thenetwork traffic

transparently to the browser. It short-circuits the retrievalprocess of the desired

file if it is in the cache. Transparent caches are especiallyuseful to service

providers because they require no browser setup modification.

Figure 4: Synopsis of the Digital MillenniumCopyright Act (USA)

The transparent caching approach provides several distinctadvantages relative

to proxy-based solutions where requests are terminated at theproxy cache and

web servers are not aware of the request.

â– â– With a proxy cache the web server loses allvisibility to content requests

or webpage hits

â– â– Connections from a proxy cache will appearto originate from its IP address,

leading to inaccurate utilization and popularity metrics (ie:YouTube video

viewing statistics)

â– â– Proxy-based caching methodologies cannotalways guarantee if content

is current or not

Based on these points, a proxy-based strategy could beconsidered in violation

of the DMCA where “The provider must not interfere with thetechnology that

returns ‘hit’ information to the person who posted the material”and “the provider

must comply with rules about ‘refreshing’ material—replacingretained

copies of material with material from the original location—whenspecified

in accordance with a generally accepted industry standard dataprotocol.”

What’s the Value?

Intelligent Content Networking reduces the strain on the entirenetwork

by serving a broad range of popular, frequently accessed contentcloser

to the subscriber.

Alleviating network congestion and propagation delay associatedwith delivering

requested content to the subscriber means content is viewablefaster, and

without interruption—in some cases subscriber response time is7x faster!

In many cases the investment in Intelligent Content Networkingcan be easily

justified on an ROI basis against saved OPEX and CAPEX thatwould have been

required previously to augment network capacity. ServiceProviders are finding

that up to 70% of content is cacheable, and bandwidth savingsrealized are

between 25–30%.

Intelligent Content Networking frees up bandwidth to deliverother services,

such as VoIP and video conferencing more effectively. Thequality of these

offerings is higher as they are no longer contending with asmuch OTT content

transiting the network concurrently. They also provideincremental, “value

added services” revenue streams that compliment internet accessservices.

As Service Providers are providing improved QoE to theircustomers, Intelligent

Content Networking approaches are opening up opportunities toincrease ARPU

by providing tiered services and partnering with OTT contentproviders

to jointly offer enhanced service offerings.

Operators and Users Win with Intelligent Content Networking

Why BTI Systems?

BTI Systems understands networks. For over 10 years we’ve beensupporting

a diverse range of networks within service provider, utility,web and cloud service

operators, and enterprise environments. We have the expertise todeliver

mission critical information, communications, and content andare relied upon

by over 250 customers globally.

The BTI portfolio has evolved to a best-in-breed packet opticalnetwork

foundation offering optical service delivery, and a completelyintegrated Carrier

Ethernet packet services layer. Our focus on enablingcontent-optimized

solutions is a natural evolution complementary to our existingcapabilities and

ensures our customer’s networks continue to evolve to addressnew application

and service requirements.

WidecastTM, is BTI’s edge-based Intelligent ContentNetworking solution.

It’s a blade server and storage platform focused onnetwork-based content

serving and distribution that is tightly integrated with BTI’spacket services

layer. Widecast positions key network functionality and contentat the fibered

network edge—at the head end of the access network or literallyat the

subscriber’s “front door” to effectively address OTT requestswith network

efficiency, operational savings, and a high quality of experience.

BTI optimizes Intelligent Content Networking for the edge of thenetwork with

our focus on fundamental principles when architecting networksolutions:

efficient service delivery, low power, compact form factor, andsimplified

management and operations.

Intelligent Content Networking from BTI—a WIN/WIN Solution

The key to addressing critical network requirements as we enterthe era of

Hyperconnectivity is to use an innovative approach for contentdelivery; with

Intelligent Content Networking solutions, BTI provides a WIN/WINfor service

providers and subscribers.

The service providers’ high-speed internet services mustleverage an efficient

service delivery infrastructure to address high-bandwidthsubscriber requests

for content and information. An Intelligent Content Networkingapproach

defers metro network build outs and reduces internet transitcosts through

a more effective content delivery model, using content cachingtechnology

tightly integrated with a packet optical networking solution.

The consumer demand for content is growing at an unprecedentedrate and

with it is the expectation that content will be readilyavailable, timely in delivery,

and easy to control. An Intelligent Content Networking approachprovides

an “at the front door” delivery model for popular content andensures sufficient

bandwidth to deliver longtail content, and other communicationsservices, over

the same Internet pipe effectively; providing an improvedquality of experience

for the subscriber.

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