Thursday, April 17, 2008

NAB Interview with Edgeware

I spoke at NAB with Joachim Roos, the CEO of Edgeware, a Swedish video on demand systems company. We had spoken a couple of years ago and he then outlined his plans to develop a flash memory based video on demand system. I next heard about Edgeware in January of this year when Tus Telecom in Slovenia was enthusiastic about them.

Edgeware had a significant win with Telia Sonera in Sweden. Edgeware's video on demand systems replaced Siecor equipment and now provides video on demand and catch up TV services to the more than 300 thousand IPTV customers that Telia Sonera supports.

Edgeware uses a distributed approach. Its edge servers use flash memory to store content and library servers backed up with disk storage at a central location. It records the catch up TV broadcast content at each edge node and lets it age off of the edge servers relatively quickly if it is not accessed. The library system can bring back any TV program that a viewer requests after it has aged off the edge system. Roos said that this approach has been very effective reducing the video traffic on the metro/aggregation networks. His experience is that about 95 percent of viewer requests in busy periods are satisfied by cached content on the edge servers and do not require transfers from the central libraries.

It was interesting to hear Edgeware's statements that its caching approaches are that effective in reducing network traffic. Of course, the number of Telia Sonera's IPTV customers is still a small part of its broadband base. It will be quite interesting to see how video on demand traffic on its network builds as IPTV penetration increases.

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