When it Comes to Video Streaming in the Cloud, it's all about Network Performance

Customer Profile

Preview Networks is a leading content distributor and syndicate for localized video content in Europe. Back in 2011 the company was experiencing tremendous growth around its marketing, aggregation and syndication platforms.

“We selected CloudSigma’s public infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) over competitors, including Amazon and Rackspace, due to its flexibility, greater price/performance and efficient resource utilization.”Patrick Rodies, CTO, Preview Networks.

With more than 300 content owners in 10 markets, the company was actively distributing more than 350 million video streams and 2.25 billion images across 2,300 media destinations, including websites, social networks, mobile apps, and Internet TV. The client’s platforms were delivered as Internet services, so even the tiniest bit of downtime could become detrimental to its bottom line. With more and more content owners signing on each day, any instance of downtime would have had a widespread impact across its business. Preview Networks realized that it was quickly outgrowing its physical data center in Denmark, and, in order to avoid downtime while sustaining such growth, needed to move to the cloud.

The Challenge

The company had been rapidly growing in the content marketing, aggregation and syndication industry. In fact, in just 24 months, it went from syndicating 15 million videos a year to 350 million, creating infrastructure issues in its physical environment.

“Our growth has been great for business, but a technical nightmare without the cloud. We needed to spin up more and more servers on a constant basis, which was not feasible with our proprietary, physical data center, especially as it could take months before a new server was fully deployed.”Patrick Rodies, CTO, Preview Networks.

Even after recognizing its need for a cloud environment, Preview Networks remained wary about transitioning to such an environment and being able to use all of its preferred applications, operating systems and configurations.

A common barrier preventing companies like Preview Networks from leveraging the cloud is knowing that they’ll have to change our infrastructure in some shape or form to migrate to it. This is particularly challenging with traditional IaaS providers like Amazon and Rackspace whose businesses are driven by legacy solutions and only allow for a small amount of flexibility.

“We evaluated both Amazon and Rackspace, along with a handful of other public cloud providers, but, in each instance, we would have had to change our entire network to migrate to one of those other cloud platforms.”

After evaluating other cloud providers, the client remained frustrated with the level of inflexibility they continued to encounter – that is, until they found CloudSigma.

The Solution

CloudSigma utilizes a completely open software layer, eliminating the typical restrictions placed on companies during a cloud migration and providing complete transparency for public cloud computing. This allowed Preview Networks to deploy the applications and operating systems it preferred and is familiar with, while still achieving the same, if not greater, levels of availability, connectivity and scalability.

“Unlike traditional IaaS providers, CloudSigma offers a completely open, customer-centric public cloud platform, which gives us the individualized resources we need to build our perfect cloud according to price, utilization and performance. No other cloud provider that we know of allows that level of customer control.”Patrick Rodies, CTO, Preview Networks.

Preview Networks also found that the flexibility CloudSigma applied to its software layer and deployments extended to CloudSigma’s resources, including CPU, RAM and storage, giving the client a far better price for performance.

“With CloudSigma, we are not subject to unrealistic bundled resources as it delivers transparent and efficient resource purchasing.”

Many IaaS providers charge for a minimum full hour no matter how long a cloud server is actually running and bundle resources into fixed server packages. CloudSigma, however, bills customers by each resource separately based on usage in short 5-minute billing increments, preventing customers from purchasing unnecessary resources.

“This is a huge cost-saving advantage as we’ve found issues of over- and under-provisioning are far too common in other public cloud environments.”

The Impact

Moving to a cloud environment was a strategic business decision for Preview Networks, but considerations also came into play regarding the company’s customers and end users.

“Using CloudSigma has enabled us to increase our level of service for our own customers since we are now able to spin up resources much more quickly in the cloud with greater scalability, reliability and performance. Our customers, including MSN, Blockbuster, Warner Brothers, and Universal Studios, have greatly benefited from our improved delivery, performance and availability as a result of working with CloudSigma.”Patrick Rodies, CTO, Preview Networks.

In addition, the company’s customers feel more confident in its capabilities as it is now able to get customers up and running much more quickly with its services based on CloudSigma’s IaaS offering.

“For instance, we recently signed a contract with a new client who asked us to have infrastructure and servers dedicated entirely to them – and, they wanted it all done in one week! That would never have been possible using our own data center services; it would have taken at least a month.”

With CloudSigma, Preview Networks was easily able to meet its customers’ demands and get them up and running in as little as one day.

“As we always say, time is money, so CloudSigma has been a real advantage for keeping the company up and running.”

With its decision to move to the cloud, Preview Networks was conscious about the highly-sensitive issue of data protection, especially with the conflicting laws between Europe and America with regards to data access, sharing and location.

“The fact that CloudSigma addresses issues of data protection head on with its locations in Zurich and San Jose, keeping each as a separate entity subject to the laws of the country where it resides, is a real advantage for us.” “Since CloudSigma gives us complete control of where we put our data, we can choose which laws our data is subject to without concern of compliance.”

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About Zhenya Mocheva

Zhenya is a Digital Marketing Expert at CloudSigma, focusing on brand strategy, social media marketing and digital marketing campaigns. She is passionate about the continuous innovation within the digital environment and the endless growth opportunities that inbound marketing brings.