A lot of activities go hand in hand with the annual Super Bowl, the final championship game of America’s National Football League. Probably most awaited each year - apart from the big game itself - is the advertising and a whole lot of video that accompanies the actual ads. Companies from across the spectrum of industries invest unheard of amounts of time and money in creating what they hope will be the most-talked-about, viral ad campaigns - showcasing their offer during this prime Super Bowl period (including before and after). Most of this content is video. Preparation for this year’s event, which takes place on February 6th, probably started even before last year’s Super Bowl took place. For advertisers and media companies - and those who enable and underpin the delivery of ads and media - this is a bit like their own Super Bowl.
Given that every company is looking to create something viral and talked about above, beyond and independent of the Super Bowl, it stands to reason that companies of all types - from major, big-name brands to independent video platforms - would be ramping up their protection against new and sudden floods of traffic in the event that their video content goes viral. With video content delivery, of course, challenges arise, such as much-feared buffering/loading time (particularly when a video has gone viral).
What’s the video content delivery game plan?
When it comes to Super Bowl-related video content, most companies, particularly those looking to get the most traction from the smallest footprint, will have to look at some technical enhancements to ensure that content delivery keeps up with demand.
Let’s say Company X runs a digital marketing campaign that includes a video that ends up going viral. This is, of course, everyone’s ultimate goal and it’s the creative side of the house worrying about the content itself. But ensuring that the masses who want to see the must-see video is an entirely different matter. What’s your game plan for managing this sudden spike in traffic, all wanting to see this one in-demand piece of content, i.e. both ensuring that that content is available but also that the rest of your site does not suffer as a result?
Extend your reach: Scaling up to meet demand
Together with traffic management solution experts, Cedexis, we recently launched Varnish Extend, a flexible content delivery layer you can implement to control your content delivery. And why is this relevant to your video-delivery dilemma? With Varnish Extend you can take charge of your content by creating your own hybrid video delivery solution that gives you both optimal content delivery performance and control over your costs.
Depending on how you set it up (it’s flexible to meet your specific needs), Varnish Extend lets you:
- Leverage caching nodes for VoD and live streaming
- Take advantage of the granular level of control you have over your content and user experience requirements
- Ensure availability: the Varnish Plus components that in part make up the Varnish Extend solution include the Varnish High Availability content replicator that adds resilience and boosts performance for your viral cached content. VHA agent triggers cache replication into its paired Varnish servers every time a new object enters the cache - so cached objects can be retrieved from multiple servers with only one backend request. Users won’t end up coming to your site to see what everyone is talking about only to be disappointed.
- Gain control over and increase performance. Congestion, as you already know, can slow things way down, make content inaccessible or cause a total outage - completely unacceptable performance any time, but certainly during crunch time. Varnish Extend lets you create a hyper-local private cloud to reach more far-flung audience centers, letting you continue to deliver even when overwhelmed.
Okay, this is all a fine set of advantages - but how does that really give you the assurance that your video content will be resilient along with your entire site? The combination of the Varnish Plus and Cedexis Openmix solutions that make up Varnish Extend give you the keys.
In Varnish Plus, you get the caching engine, scalability, resilience and performance-enhancing Varnish Plus components and, crucially for video content, the Massive Storage Engine (MSE). Specially built for the high-performance needs of video distribution, MSE provides persistent caching for hundreds of terabytes, and can serve several gigabytes of data per second. MSE uses an extent mapped file system in user space as the storage medium for the cache.
So, the construction of your private cloud is done and dusted with the Varnish side of the equation, but there’s still the same persistent challenge you face with a normal CDN provider: your private cloud becomes part of the traffic volume problem as the demand grows.
The Cedexis part of the equation addresses this. The Cedexis Openmix Global Load Balancing System uses intelligent performance-based traffic management to ensure that users are routed to the highest-performing POP for the users’ location and internet topography, based on real-time information.
With Varnish Extend, you can set up a flexible private/hybrid CDN with relative ease, take back control of your content delivery and ensure uptime and performance when your content goes viral.
Find your way to increased performance and resilience on game day or any day (and for heaven’s sake - don’t let your site break) while minimizing content delivery costs for viral content.
If you are ready to try Varnish Extend, request a free trial today. Otherwise, you can learn more by contacting us or taking a look at our on-demand Varnish Extend webinar.
Photo (c) 2008 Caitlin Regan used under Creative Commons license.