Introduction to Viblast PDN
So you’ve looked at viblast.com/pdn or met someone from our team and you’re hooked on peer-assisted video delivery. Now you’d like to:
- learn more
- find the best way to test Viblast PDN
We wrote this document for you.
Before we begin
Why move from a CDN-only to hybrid live streaming delivery?
- To build a more robust solution inherently capable of handling massive or unexpected viewership spikes
- To increase your architecture’s capacity for delivering viewers superior quality (significantly reduce or entirely remove rebuffering and skipped frames, stream higher bitrates)
- To offload closed/managed (e.g. enterprise) networks during company-wide video streaming
- To handle external factors such as an ISP shaping traffic to your content
- To cut bandwidth costs without sacrificing quality of service
- Because it’s much simpler to do than not to, and having to handle the above challenges with traditional methods
What is Viblast PDN
Viblast PDN (as in peer-assisted delivery network) is a software technology that adds a peer-assisted delivery layer to your existing streaming solution (CDN or in-house implementation) to unlock the dormant resources in the last mile. The result looks something like this.
Technologies in use:
- WebRTC & MSE - allowing for plugin-free browser-to-browser communication
- Erlang - a robust programming language suitable for use in highly scalable distributed networks, such as the Viblast backend
- C/C++ - for the entire code base
Other names peer-assisted delivery goes by: grid delivery, client-assisted delivery, mesh-based streaming, hybrid CDN-P2P delivery, decentralized video delivery.
By recruiting your audience to put in a little bit of upload into your delivery, both sides benefit:
- Viewers get better quality of experience (QoE), while you watch quality of service parameters (QoS) improve
- Your architecture is better-prepared to handle spikes in viewership - P2P delivery offers real-time scale
- For closed networks (e.g. in the enterprise), you get resilience during company-wide live video events
- You can serve up to 70% larger number of viewers with your current setup or...
- You can reduce your bandwidth costs
- Plugin-free peer-assisted delivery
- Live streaming of HLS & DASH
- VOD support of HLS & DASH
- Adaptive bitrate (ABR) support
- Intelligent network management
- Mobile support - iOS & Android SDKs
- Encryption & DRM agnostic
- Complements existing infrastructure
- Extends any modern CDN service
- Works with most popular streaming servers (Wowza Streaming Engine, Unified Streaming Platform, Nimble Streamer, etc)
- Cloud-based or self-hosted integration options
- Native HTML5 MSE video support
- Extendable in-player video analytics (measuring actual performance on each viewer station)
- Customer portal with resources & account management panel
- Documentation & forum
- Fast and expert email support (from the people who built the platform itself)
- Phone (customers only)
- Supported streaming formats - HLS and MPEG-DASH
- Supported players - Viblast Player and Video.js. Additionally, custom player support can be requested.
- Supported browsers:
|IE 11, Edge
|IE<11||Safari<8||Safari 8||Opera||Android 4.2+||iOS 6+|
|PDN optimization (WebRTC)||✔||✔||✘||✘||✘||✘||✔||✔||✔|
|HTML5 video playback||✔||✘||✔||✘||native||✔||✔||n/a||n/a|
*Where HTML5 is not supported, Viblast PDN seamlessly falls back to Flash
Some questions you may be asking yourself:
Can I expect playback interruptions?
No. Viblast PDN is built so that if peers cannot connect for any reason, playback seamlessly falls back to the CDN, which acts in a way as a “super peer.”
Will there be any noticeable consequences for viewers from adding P2P?
No, Viblast PDN is transparent. It is up to the content provider to choose how and whether to inform viewers of the added delivery service. Otherwise, there will be no plugins to install, no startup time delay and no noticeable load on viewer upload bandwidth or processing power.
Can I easily switch Viblast PDN off and go back to CDN delivery?
Yes, at any time. The solution comes with an on/off switch.
What if ISPs are upset that their users are uploading content to other ISP networks?
You can provision for this. Viblast PDN has intelligent network management built-in, which can instruct peers only to exchange data with certain subnets.
Great, but I need to get [stakeholder] on board, who is prejudiced against P2P solutions.
We feel you! Here are some arguments that have helped us address such prejudice before:
- Our customers are the content providers themselves - or their providers, such as CDNs, OVPs and various other vendors & service providers. We work with the good guys.
- Viblast PDN supports DRM & HLS encryption
- Years ago, P2P solutions were inefficient and buggy. Nowadays, thanks to the wide acceptance and browser support for WebRTC, P2P delivery works on a whole new level and is finally viable. Not only that, it is necessary for handling the mass load video transport puts on the Internet, which is projected to exceed the total CDN capacity available worldwide in the coming 5 years.
- The technology behind Viblast PDN holds U.S. patent-pending status and has received a number of awards and industry recognition. Most recently it won in the Delivery Network category in Streaming Media European Readers’ Choice Awards 2015.
Recommended testing procedure
See the HLS & MPEG-DASH demo on our website:
- Notice how your IP appears on the swarm visualization
- Try sending the link to colleagues or open it in new tabs to grow the swarm
- Note that different bitrates are color-coded and peers can only exchange video chunks with others watching at the same bitrate
Sign up for our customer portal and prepare your own stream for testing.
HOW TO PREPARE THE TEST STREAM
It should have the following parameters:
- HLS or DASH
- CORS enabled
- Segment size should be with duration of 2-5 seconds
- Playlist should be 15-25 seconds
Validate and test-play this test stream in Viblast Portal - "Streams" tab, press "Add stream".
Finally, for the most efficient, concise testing process, set up a screen-sharing session with one of our engineers. We will walk you through the shortest way of exploring the capabilities of Viblast PDN and its fit into your architecture.
How to decide whether P2P is the right solution for me?
You may already be fond of our technology, but still wonder if it is right for your company or your customers. We are prepared to support you in making this decision: our goal is to bring real benefits and solve real problems of our customers. If there is no need for our technology, we will both be better off just having [tea] together, rather than doing business.
It is best to have a conversation about this, but we are happy to provide you with some starting points in establishing the usefulness of Viblast PDN in your particular use case.
You are likely to benefit from Viblast PDN if:
- Your live streams reach (hundreds of) thousands of concurrent viewers.
- You experience unpredictable viewership spikes.
- Your viewers are located in the same region or country - or at least major groups of them share similar locations.
- The majority of your viewers use P2P-capable browsers (Chrome/Firefox/Opera) or mobile apps (iOS / Android native apps).
- You looking to address one of the issues listed in the "Before we begin" section.