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Octoshape’s Multicast Technology Suite:

The Next-Gen CDN Alternative for Large-Scale, Cost-Optimized,


Global HD Streaming

HQ: +45 8833 4680 USA: +1 770 578 1686 Asia: +65 81125330 www.octoshape.com
Octoshape’s Multicast Technology Suite | Table of Contents

Core Transport...........................................................................................................................................................................4
Making Best-Effort Networks Perform Like Provisioned Networks........................................................................4
How it Works..............................................................................................................................................................................4
Benefits of The Resilient Transport Approach................................................................................................................6
Multicast Technologies...........................................................................................................................................................7
Multicast - Reborn....................................................................................................................................................................7
Simulated Multicast.................................................................................................................................................................8
Native Source-Specific Multicast........................................................................................................................................9
AMT (Automatic Multicast Tunneling)........................................................................................................................... 10
Conclusion............................................................................................................................................................................... 11

Octoshape’s Multicast Technology Suite 2


Octoshape’s Multicast Technology Suite:
The Next-Gen CDN Alternative for Large-Scale, Cost-Optimized, Global HD Streaming

Octoshape has developed and deployed an innovative new streaming media technology that changes
the fundamental rules for the Internet video delivery ecosystem. Our software system breaks the
current relationship between server distance and quality of the video, which has constrained current
content delivery network (CDN) technology by quality, scale, region and cost.

These constraints force traditional CDNs to deploy massive amounts of


servers and networking equipment in order to scale and sustain quality
for large streaming events to far-flung audiences. TV-quality viewing
experiences often require at least five times more bandwidth than
standard web experiences. This kind of capacity isn’t widely available on
the Internet today.

Further, traditional CDNs have to plan for the audience size multiplied by
the bit rate of the stream and plan to scale their network infrastructure
to accommodate peak audiences in each region. This costly capital
expenditure keeps CDN price points for large streamed events exorbitant
and well beyond the reach of a large potential customer base.

Even a single broadcasting company would have trouble reserving enough


traditional CDN capacity for an event with an audience of one million
simultaneous viewers at 2 Mbps (2 Tbps).

Octoshape’s technology eliminates the need for this onerous and resource-
devouring process for content creators, broadcasters and aggregators
worldwide, while providing the following benefits:

∞∞ The highest, constant-quality video;

∞∞ The largest-scale audiences;

∞∞ Global OTT reach; and

∞∞ Economics unattainable by other technologies.

Octoshape’s Multicast Technology Suite 3


Core Transport
At its core, Octoshape solves the problem that traditional Internet video
delivery technologies have today:
∞∞ Variable throughput

∞∞ Distance and geography constraints

∞∞ Poor performance in congested, last-mile, and mobile networks

∞∞ Traffic distribution scale models that are unsustainable because of


capital and operational costs

Making Best-Effort Networks Perform Like


Provisioned Networks
One of the keys to the constant quality Octoshape provides over best-
effort networks lays in the core resilient-coding algorithms employed in
the transport.
Octoshape’s core transport approach uses a unique, resilient-coding
scheme inside a UDP transport.
This scheme enables Octoshape clients to:
∞∞ Survive packet loss without the data overhead of forward error-
correction (FEC) schemes, and

∞∞ Pull data from multiple sources simultaneously, while only actually


consuming the data rate necessary to recreate the stream.

How it Works

THROUGHPUT
OPTOMIZED
SOURCE STREAM

EVENT LIVE STREAM ENCODE SERVER DATA STREAMLETS VIDEO

A video stream is pulled into the Octoshape system. For the purpose
of this example, assume the video stream is a 1 Mbps stream of data.

Octoshape’s Multicast Technology Suite 4


Octoshape breaks the stream up into many unique 250kbps streamlets as
it is replicated across the streaming server complex. The streams are coded
in a way that 20 unique streamlets may exist across the Octoshape server
complex, but only 4 are needed to recreate the original 1 Mbps stream for
the user.
This approach enables the Octoshape client on the end user’s viewing
device to tune into multiple streamlets at once, with these sources
transparently prioritized based on quality. If a streamlet source is behind a
congested route or goes offline for some reason, the system pulls in other
stream sources to take its place.
The underlying transport provides throughput optimization using
UDP transport. Resiliency normally provided by TCP is replaced with
Octoshape’s resilient coding scheme. By contrast, the Octoshape approach
removes the overhead requirement for resilient delivery from the client.
Octoshape’s technology works with standard media formats including
Flash, Windows and MPEG2_TS.

STANDARD
ENCODE SERVER
250kbps
250kbps
250kbps
250kbps

1Mbps 1Mbps
THROUGHPUT
OPTOMIZED
SOURCE STREAM

EVENT LIVE STREAM OCTOSHAPE DATA STREAMLETS VIDEO


BROADCASTER SOFTWARE

In the Octoshape scheme, the outbound stream from the encoder


is sent to a local processor called the Octoshape broadcaster. This
software processes the stream and sends it in the Octoshape throughput
-optimized protocol to the Octoshape ingest servers in the cloud. This
stream is resilient, and supports active active and active passive
redundancy modes.
Once ingested, the data is replicated as streamlets and sent to the
Octoshape distribution servers in the cloud or to those located on the
Octoshape server complex.

Octoshape’s Multicast Technology Suite 5


The Octoshape client on the computer, or other connected device, that
is consuming the stream requests a stream first. It is quickly fed a full
stream from one of the servers in the cloud to achieve instant on or instant
channel change.
The system quickly notifies the Octoshape client of a cloud of resources
from which it can pull the data. Within seconds, the client has a multi-path
option to consume portions of the stream. It then begins to profile the
connections for latency and packet loss, creating a quality-ranked resilient
mesh of sources for the video. As a result, any source could drop out, any
packet could be lost, a data center could be knocked out, or a fiber could
be cut, and the consumer will not see a frame drop in the video.

This underlying resilient transport approach has


several benefits:
1 It creates a constant bit-rate TV-like experience. The UDP resilient
flow does not have the variable characteristics of a normal TCP flow.
Therefore, while Octoshape features Adaptive Bit Rate technology, it
does not rely on that technology very often because once matched
with a bit rate, users stay put – and so does content.
2 Since the enabling Octoshape technology is multi-path, it acts as
a smooth and easy back-off mechanism as the load increases in
the last mile. If a link becomes congested, Octoshape notices the
increasing jitter, packet loss and latency. The technology moves
traffic off of an affected link to other less-congested ones. In the
last mile, this evenly load balances the traffic inbound to the last
mile, opening up and leveraging the capacity available on all the
pipes, instead of just congesting one pipe like traditional CDN
technologies.
3 Since the resilient UDP flow is not subject to packet loss and latency
of a TCP based technology, the high-quality video can attain global
reach. Regional infrastructure constraints are no longer an issue. That
means that data can be served from locations where bandwidth,
power, cooling, and space are inexpensive.
4 The technology also enables Octoshape to perform very efficiently
over best-effort networks including 3G and 4G infrastructures.
Because TCP technologies tend to create more overhead as the
conditions get more challenging, the Octoshape approach is the
most efficient way to send data over wireless networks.

Octoshape’s Multicast Technology Suite 6


These core innovations have made way for dramatic architectural
improvements, and have enabled distribution methods over the Internet
that have before been challenged. Two of these innovative methods
take the brains behind and inside the Octoshape Multicast Suite of
technologies and Octoshape’s Cloudmass service.

Multicast Technologies
When large broadcasters buy streaming capacity from traditional CDN’s,
they cannot buy from companies that have small streaming media
complexes, for example in the 50Gbps range. The majority of these
companies have heavy traffic and often large spikes. As a result, these
customers have to buy services from companies that can handle the large
spikes. These are often companies – perhaps only two or three today – that
can offer reservations in the 500Gbps range.
In contrast, Octoshape has already supported the largest video events
on the Internet including the inauguration of President Barack Obama
in 2009. Octoshape was able to sustain the bit rate through the peak of
the event, where traditional technologies, crippled by congestion, would
only been able to sustain 70 percent of the video bit rate, and then would
buckle under the load.
Octoshape technology has a magnifying effect on companies with smaller
streaming resources, making companies that have capital investments in
streaming infrastructure equal to about 50 Gbps appear as a company that
has invested capital infrastructure to support a 500 Gbps network.
Where the far larger provider only has 500 Gbps of capacity deployed
regionally due to the relationship between distance and quality, the
Octoshape-enabled provider can now compete globally without
constraint.
Octoshape’s suite of three Multicast technologies – Native Source-
Specific Multicast, Automatic Multicast Tunneling, and Octoshape
Simulated Multicast – provide the magnification affect.

Multicast - Reborn
Multicast has been restricted to provisioned networks. It is used in the
enterprise, or in managed IPTV systems where the congestion and packet
loss can be controlled and managed. There are many reasons Multicast has
not been widely adopted across the public Internet, one being that it is not
a resilient transport mechanism in native form.

Octoshape’s Multicast Technology Suite 7


In the Octoshape system, the process starts with a standard off-the-shelf
encoder. Octoshape supports major video formats such as Flash RTMP,
Windows Media, RTSP/TS, and MPEG2_TS, as supported by top vendors
such as Digital Rapids, Inlet, Elemental, Viewcast, FME, Microsoft and
Newtek.
In the case of Flash, Octoshape provides a small piece of software called
the Octoshape broadcaster that can be installed directly on the encoding
device or on another computer local to the encoder. To the encoder, the
Octoshape broadcaster looks like a Flash Media Server. The encoder is
configured in exactly the same was as it has been traditionally, so to the
encoder, Octoshape is transparent.
Octoshape takes the stream and applies the throughput optimization
technology to the stream to improve the Internet path between the
encoder and the Octoshape cloud. Once in the cloud, the stream is ready
for distribution.

Simulated Multicast
STANDARD
ENCODE SERVER
250kbps
250kbps
250kbps LAST MILE
250kbps NETWORK 1

1Mbps
THROUGHPUT
OPTOMIZED
SOURCE STREAM 250kbps
250kbps LAST MILE
250kbps NETWORK 2
250kbps

LIVE STREAM OCTOSHAPE DATA STREAMLETS 1Mbps Each


BROADCASTER SOFTWARE

In this model, the Octoshape-enabled media player tunes to an Octoshape


stream. The Octoshape server complex in the cloud immediately sends
instant stream start data down to the last mile, enabling the video to
begin playing.
The Octoshape system then begins sending a list of valid sources, enabling
the client to create a resilient mesh of stream sources. As other clients
begin to tune into the stream, the Octoshape system adds them to the
valid resource pool that is communicated to other clients.

Octoshape’s Multicast Technology Suite 8


The Octoshape client then begins pulling small bits of data from these
participating clients just as it would from cloud server resources. These
participating clients are ranked along with the server resources for stream
quality based on jitter, latency and packet loss. The client constantly
adjusts the amount of data flowing from each source based on the quality
of incoming data.
As an event evolves, other participating clients in the region, ISP, last mile,
or office begin to provide higher-quality data than the server resources
from the cloud. When this occurs, the data begins to be delivered from the
edge, instead of from the cloud server complex.

STANDARD OCTOSHAPE MULTICAST ENABLED


ENCODE SERVER MULTICAST RELAY ISP BACKBONE
250kbps
250kbps
250kbps
250kbps

1Mbps
THROUGHPUT 1Mbps
OPTOMIZED
SOURCE STREAM As-Needed
Resiliency
Streamlets
NATIVE
MULTICAST
LIVE STREAM OCTOSHAPE DATA STREAMLETS 1Mbps
BROADCASTER SOFTWARE 1Mbps

1Mbps Each MULTICAST ENABLED MULTICAST ENABLED


ISP LAST MILE #1 ISP LAST MILE #2

Native Source-Specific Multicast


One distribution option has Octoshape inject the stream into the Native
Multicast cloud of a last-mile provider. Octoshape provides a piece of
software to the provider that resiliently pulls a stream, or set of streams,
into the last mile and injects it into the Native Multicast environment of the
provider. The provider would give Octoshape a pool of SSM (s,g) addresses
to manage for these streams.
When an Octoshape-enabled client tries to tune into the Octoshape
URL for the stream, the Octoshape cloud will send data to the client that
enables the stream to begin instantly. The Octoshape cloud then starts
communicating a list of valid resources from which the client can
extract data.

Octoshape’s Multicast Technology Suite 9


Typically, these are server resources in the cloud. But in this example, one
of the valid sources is a native SSM address. The user is watching high-
quality video. Meanwhile, Octoshape is attempting to receive data from
the native multicast source. Since this particular client is connected to
a native multicast domain, it begins to receive data from the multicast
source, and therefore de-prioritizes the data from the cloud.
Trace amounts of resiliency data are still pulled from the cloud in case
there is packet loss on the native multicast feed. In cases of packet loss, the
cloud sources are reprioritized to fill the gaps. In this case, Octoshape is
transparently managing cloud delivery and native multicast sources
in parallel.

STANDARD OCTOSHAPE MULTICAST ENABLED


ENCODE SERVER MULTICAST RELAY ISP BACKBONE
250kbps
250kbps
250kbps
250kbps

1Mbps
THROUGHPUT 1Mbps
OPTOMIZED
SOURCE STREAM As-Needed
Resiliency
Streamlets
AMT
TUNNEL
LIVE STREAM OCTOSHAPE DATA STREAMLETS 1Mbps
BROADCASTER SOFTWARE
AMT ENABLED 1Mbps 1Mbps
ROUTER

1Mbps MULTICAST ENABLED


ROUTER

1Mbps Each NON-MULTICAST ENABLED MULTICAST ENABLED


ISP LAST MILE #1 ISP LAST MILE #2

AMT (Automatic Multicast Tunneling)


AMT is another option for efficiently moving video data to the edge of
the network in instances where native multicast is not enabled. AMT is
a multicast tunneling process built into router code that can bridge a
multicast and non-multicast domain. It can extract one copy of the video
into the last mile, and serve multiple copies as a relay from there.
For this case, the last-mile provider has some portions of the last mile
enabled with Native Multicast, and some that are not. As in the previous
scenario with Native Multicast, Octoshape can inject the streams into the
native multicast domain of the last mile.

Octoshape’s Multicast Technology Suite 10


The client that is on the non-native multicast portion of the network
seeks to tune to the stream. The media player requests the stream from
Octoshape, and the Octoshape server complex in the cloud immediately
sends instant stream start data to the last mile, enabling the video to begin
playing. The Octoshape server complex begins to send alternative sources
from which the client can pull resilient data. Among these sources is the
Native SSM address.
The Octoshape client in the background attempts to tune into this SSM
address and immediately finds it unavailable since it is not connected to
the native multicast domain. The Octoshape client then sends an Anycast
request out to find the closest AMT relay, if available. The closest relay
responds to the request, and tunnels to the native multicast domain to pull
one copy of the stream into the AMT relay.
The Octoshape client then begins to receive the feed from the native AMT
relay. If bits are dropped along the way, the Octoshape client fills the holes
by drawing from the cloud.
Note, that these native multicast and AMT multicast models apply in
enterprise and last-mile networks.

Conclusion
Octoshape has created the most efficient transport protocols for the
delivery of constant bit rate content across best-effort networks such as
the Internet, fixed wireless and mobile infrastructures. The technology uses
standard media formats and standard media players.
The transport protocols eliminate the traditional barriers to optimal
streaming of media, the chief among them being the relationship
between distance from the streaming server and the quality of the
stream. With traditional CDN technologies, if quality is a fixed parameter,
this relationship creates a floor for the cost of goods sold that cannot be
overcome regardless of economies of scale.
This is how Octoshape technologies usher in a new paradigm of quality,
scale, and economics for TV-quality video delivery over the Internet.
The technology enables the use of cloud aggregation techniques, and
multicast distribution strategies not previously achievable with traditional
technologies. The resulting impact takes quality and scale up to a level
unreachable by any other technology, and cost of goods sold below a level
than any other technology can technically reach.
This disruptive paradigm will help usher in the next generation of TV
services by enabling a new frontier of business models and HQ: +45 8833 4680
consumer choice. USA: +1 770 578 1686
Asia: +65 81125330
For more information, visit www.octoshape.com

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