Edge Computing to Accelerate Livestreaming Initiatives


To remain ahead of the curve and avoid the mishaps that come naturally with livestreaming, businesses need to plan for scalability, data durability, and fault tolerance in both the storage and processing layers.

Enterprises across various industries were left to face unique experiences, and numerous challenges as the COVID-19 pandemic made its way around the world. Although a number of organizations began their digital transformation journeys long before COVID-19, this past year has emphasized the immediate need for updated technology infrastructures and ultimately quickened the adoption of emerging technologies. Amongst the endless carousel of technology-driven solutions for this “new remote era,” livestreaming and its reliance on edge computing found itself at the forefront of enterprises’ digital transformation journeys.

According to a report from StreamElements, the livestreaming industry has grown 99% between April 2019 and April 2020 – and continued to see further growth through 2020. In order to stay ahead of the various streaming-related shortcomings, organizations must be prepared to avoid infrastructure-related problems by remaining resilient and incorporating new technologies, like edge computing.

The rise of livestreaming

The exponential increase of livestreaming – and OTT video streaming – cannot be ignored, especially since we’ve seen significant growth over the past year. Streaming has only become more and more popular during the pandemic. Families are turning to services like Netflix, Disney+, HBO Max, and YouTube as countries remain in lockdown, employees are staying connected online via video chat as organizations continue to work from home, and businesses are jumping on the bandwagon and partaking in livestreamed e-commerce and a slew of other emerging interactive services, including video games, in-game live events, and e-sports tournaments.

The increase of livestreaming, and its various initiatives, have resulted in an exceptional amount of data, which enterprises are now expected to store and analyze. Cisco’s Visual Networking Index states that streaming data now makes up a considerable portion of all raw information in use, with video forecast set to account for 82% of all internet traffic by 2022. Additionally, livestreaming services have subsequently put an increasingly heavy load on network infrastructure, which directly impacts the quality of streaming and the end result to the end customer.

Using edge computing for data caching

Organizations and businesses were quick to make the transition to a fully remote ecosystem, while some are continuing to navigate their individual journeys. One of the most important aspects of livestreaming is the crystal-clear quality and minimal interruptions, which can only be achieved when an enterprise has adopted infrastructure that can withstand the demand of streaming. For enterprises that are preparing to incorporate more aspects of livestreaming in their daily business operations, looking into revamping and updating IT systems is the first step.

When it comes to implementing livestreamed business services, there is a requirement for both edge computing and cloud computing. This data needs to be processed sequentially and incrementally on a record-by-record basis or over time and is generally used to generate a wide variety of analytics, including correlations, aggregations, filtering, and sampling.

Therefore, through edge computing, the service providers and organizations can apply the power of the service for data caching as edge computing caches popular content in facilities located closer to the end-user.

Importance of proper data storage

According to Seagate’s Rethink Data Report, on average, organizations periodically transfer about 36% of data from the edge to core. Within only two years, this percentage will grow to 57%. The volume of data immediately transferred from edge to core will grow from 8% to 16% as well. To accommodate this increase, data management plans must enable a much more significant movement of data – from endpoints, through the edge, to public, private, or industry clouds.

To the same point, market researcher IDC believes that streamed data is likely to be cached in storage media until the data servers complete analytics. The amount of data stored at the edge is increasing at a faster rate than data stored in the core, so the edge is expected to store critical data and insight that fuels latency-sensitive requests from endpoint transactions and services.

Livestreaming into the future

There is no doubt that livestreaming will continue to grow as we begin to see the world return to normal. With the continued growth, more and more livestreamed data will need to be analyzed and actioned at the edge.

At the same time, there is also a growing need for object storage. The shift of data’s center of gravity to the edge is being driven by emerging technologies, with the move to 5G also providing an extra push. In its report on the future of the video streaming market, Grand View Research noted innovations, like blockchain technology and artificial intelligence, are amongst the emerging technologies that will play a role in improving video streaming capabilities. In addition to AI, the growing adoption of cloud-based solutions will also positively influence market growth for the reach of video content.

To remain ahead of the curve and avoid the mishaps that come naturally with livestreaming, businesses need to plan for scalability, data durability, and fault tolerance in both the storage and processing layers across all industries.

B.S. Teh

About B.S. Teh

B.S. Teh is Senior Vice President of Global Sales and Sales Operations at Seagate. He is responsible for Seagate’s worldwide sales and field marketing, with a focus on driving scale and breadth in customer and market coverage. Teh joined Seagate in 1989 as a field customer engineer. He has served in a variety of leadership roles with the company across multiple functions in California, Singapore, and Shanghai, including sales, marketing, business operations and field technical support. Most recently, he was senior vice president of Asia-Pacific sales and marketing, based in Singapore.

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