Espial MediaBase Overview
Espial MediaBase is a high performance on-demand video platform on COTS hardware for the management, delivery and streaming of video content to any screen. Key services on the platform include ecosystem integration, content ingest and capture, QoS, high availability, resource optimization, performance, streaming and content distribution.
Multiscreen Service Enablement – provides a full range of capture and ingest services including VOD, Timeshift TV, Remote Storage DVR and Network PVR.Integration Services
- open APIs to simplify ecosystem integration with TV Everywhere infrastructure including middleware, encryption, advertising engines and other systems. Supports both MPEG and adaptive bit-rate (ABR) video formats. Provides an RTSP toolkit for rapid set-top box integration. An SNMP agent is also available for easy integration into management systems.
Multiscreen Ingest and Capture Services - ingest pre-packaged content and live TV for playback to TVs, tablets, mobile phones and PCs. Captures can be done by central or edge servers. Supports a full range of on-demand services including video-on-demand and timeshift TV to consumer devices.
QoS Services - supports RSVP bandwidth reservation as well as packet loss recovery (PLR) to provide excellent video quality over managed IP networks.
Commercial-off-the-Shelf Servers & Storage - Espial MediaBase is tested & integrated with industry standard servers and storage devices from HP & IBM.
Multiscreen Streaming Services - single platform delivers HTTP and RTSP streaming in centralized or distributed deployments.
Resource Optimization Services - automatically fine-tunes computing resources to maximize storage usage, content distribution and streaming. It provides high performance networking (HPN) and high performance I/O (HPIO / HPIO-A) for MPEG and ABR content.
Content Distribution Services - supports multi-tier operators with central, regional and local sites. Efficiently multicasts MPEG/ABR assets from central to edge servers. Automates transfer of long-tail content from central to edge servers based on demand.
Espial MediaBase is available in two high performance configurations for service providers: unified servers and internet servers. The table to the right illustrates the features available with each configuration.
MBu - Unified Server
The Espial MediaBase Unified Server (MBu) provides a complete set of features to ingest media assets, capture live TV, provide http and rtsp streaming. It enables VOD services, Time-Shift TV services and intelligently distributes content for both managed and over-the-top services to other MBu servers.
MBi - Internet Server
The Espial MediaBase Internet Server (MBi) provides the features to ingest ABR media assets, capture live TV in ABR formats and provide http streaming. It enables live TV, Time-Shift TV services and VOD services. It intelligently distributes content to other MBi servers.
Features & Benefits
Unified TV Everywhere Platform
Espial MediaBase supports both HTTP and RTSP streaming from a single platform to dramatically increase utilization of computing and storage resources. As well, it offers a single content delivery network for MPEG video assets and adaptive bit rate (ABR) video assets. With these capabilities, Espial MediaBase can reduce CAPEX and OPEX expenditures by 50% and 65% respectively compared to competing on-demand video systems.
Espial MediaBase is designed to support rapid growth: starting from a simple centralized deployment, operators can quickly and easily expand to a multi-tier storage, streaming and server clustering architecture. This allows them to meet extraordinary growth in demand. One Espial customer has realized a six-fold increase in content storage and a four-fold increase in streaming capacities over 5 years. Over this period, they expanded from a single central site to multiple regional sites while expanding at a 32% annual growth rate.
Espial MediaBase implements many cost saving capabilities. It features patented technology to monitor storage, streaming, and servers to optimize network and hardware utilization. It’s high performance networking (HPN) and high performance I/O (HPIO and HPIO-A) achieve the maximum utilization of computing resources. A flexible pay-as-you-grow software licensing model allows customers to optimize.
Espial MediaBase offers a built-in CDN capability and failover mechanisms with both unicast and reliable multicast content distribution to edge servers. With the Espial MediaBase Manager, content distribution from central servers to edge servers can be automated based either on dynamic changes in demand or configurable policy-based settings.
CDN Push for HTTP Objects
Espial MediaBase provides a CDN push feature for both private and 3rd party CDNs. For private CDNs using Espial MediaBase, it provides both MPEG and HTTP content management and distribution on a single platform. For 3rd party CDNs, it ingests, manages and pushes HTTP content using Espial MediaBase Manager tools.
Guaranteed Quality of Service
Espial MediaBase is the first video server (see press release) to guarantee quality of service by reserving network bandwidth resources via the RSVP protocol. Espial MediaBase also supports RTP/RTCP-based packet loss recovery (PLR) retransmission (see whitepaper for detailed overview). PLR enables high quality video delivery over low-quality, noisy networks, improving QoS and customer satisfaction. PLR significantly reduces the cost of customer service calls and truck rolls. Lastly, it is the most cost and time effective way to increase revenues and extend subscriber reach.
High Availability Design
Espial MediaBase runs on carrier-class COTS with fully redundant components and offers both AC & DC power options. It includes software RAID for an extra level of reliability. Built-in failover mechanisms support high availability within and across clusters.
Open APIs and Integrated 3rd Party Solutions
Espial MediaBase supports standards-based protocols such as Interactive Services Architecture (ISA). It also offers extensive Java and SOAP/XML APIs and has been integrated with over 15 middleware systems as well as a wide range of encoders, encryption systems and set-top-boxes worldwide.
Content Distribution Management
Espial MediaBase Manager supports both point-to-point and point-to-multipoint multicast asset transfer. Administrators can define rules and policy and manages content distribution.
The transfer rules can be based on asset characteristics such as language, popularity and other criteria. For popularity-based transfers, Espial MediaBase can automatically push popular long-tail assets to one or more edge sites at run-time based on local demand. This feature enables service providers to respond promptly to unexpected high demands for certain assets, reduce backbone network bandwidth and reduce the storage requirements at the edge servers. This also reduces OPEX on manual operations to monitor, identify and transfer newly popular content to edge servers.
In addition to server configuration, system administrators can control and assign physical system resources for efficient resource management. Content administrators can configure encoder parameters for live stream captures, Time-Shift TV (TSTV) services, NVOD services and also content sources (aka Content Stores) for content ingestion.
Historical, aggregated and real-time reports can be generated to identify the asset inventory, current play out requests, failure information on asset ingest, asset play out, alarms triggered by reaching resource threshold and SNMP traps. All reports are available as time-based graphs for easy trend identification. Aggregated data can be kept for a defined length and after which system will start purging to make space for new data.
Administrators can easily track status of Espial MediaBase services including server-level applications and resource management, and also asset transfer and delivery services. Administrators can define alarm thresholds for managing SNMP traps for resource management.
HP External Storage Platform
- Server - HP Proliant DL380 G7 Server
- Storage Enclosure - HP 2600
- Drives - 600GB HDD / 2TB HDD
- Streaming Capacity - 1.6-32 Gbps
- Storage Capacity— 6TB-320TB
HP Internal Storage Platform
- Server - HP Proliant DL380 G7 Server
- Storage - HP 2600
- HDD Drives - 146GB HDD / 600GB HDD
- SSD Drives - 120G
- Streaming Capacity— 6-26 Gbps
- Storage Capacity— 1.4TB - 8TB
IBM External Storage Platform
Espial MediaBase leverages the power of commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) servers and storage from market leaders HP & IBM. Some of the advantages of COTS include:
Harnessing the power of Mooreâ€™s law, COTS servers are continuously expanding their capabilities to drive dramatic improvements in performance for streaming, captures and networking. The illustrative charts to the right show the gains in streaming and storage capacity over several generations of COTS servers. In fact, today, many service providers can meet their streaming and storage requirements with a single server (non-redundant) per site.
COTS servers off powerful remote server management capabilities that are always available, even if you arenâ€™t physically at the server. Just log in and you can gain precise remote control of your server from anywhere in the world. As well, it also enables simplified server setup, power and thermal optimization, embedded health monitoring and remote restart.
Global Distribution and Support
Espial works with global brands HP & IBM. This provides service providers with the confidence of having a committed supplier with in-country pre-sales, sales, service and support. With in-country services and support, spare parts are a mere four hours away if required.
COTS server solutions are designed to meet local in-country customization, standards and regulatory requirements.
Standardized Configurations (Building Blocks)
to simplify ordering, fulfillment and support, Espial has worked directly with COTS suppliers to create standardized configurations. The building blocks are designed to meet the needs of a wide range of storage and streaming deployments. They can scale per-server storage from 6TB to 320TB; streaming from 6-32 Gbps. Please contact Espial if youâ€™d like custom configurations designed.
with dual power supplies, dual fans, AC and DC power options and NEBS compliancy, COTS servers are designed to meet the most demanding requirements of service providers across the world.
Espial MediaBase work across different generations of servers. As new and more powerful servers are introduced, customer can re-use older servers at sites with less rigorous demands.