Anevia Adds Multi-tiered Functionality to its Cloud DVR Storage
Anevia has developed multi-tiered functionality for the storage inside its Cloud DVR service, Embedded Distributed Storage (EDS), which makes EDS more cost-efficient and scalable. It also supports storage in the cloud, increasing the system’s flexibility.
Anevia Cloud DVR allows viewers on an IPTV or OTT network to record movies, shows, sports events and other content to view later, with a buffer used to pause during a live stream, replay, start over and so on. Although most DVRs will record programs on a hard disk drive inside the user’s set top box, cloud DVRs record programs to a cloud infrastructure that can be accessed anytime and has greater recording capacity.
EDS is based on a hyper-converged environment where storage and compute components are optimised to work together, and streaming and storage can be integrated on a single commodity appliance, which also optimises resource usage. As each server embeds storage capacity, the infrastructure is scaled by adding nodes to the cluster.
However, TV service providers need to continuously build up and vary their VOD content, and to expand storage capacity, even without a corresponding increase in the number of users. Multi-tiered storage now makes it possible to increase storage capacity independently of streaming capacity.
Because only a small portion of the VOD catalogue is consumed regularly, long-tail content can be stored more efficiently and cost-effectively on general-purpose archival storage used by IT departments. This approach prevents the need to buy new servers and the related software licences, reducing the complexity and cost of scaling for a given number of users.
"The cost of storage is among the highest operational overheads faced by an OTT TV service provider," said Damien Lucas, Anevia cofounder and CTO. "The hyper-converged architecture of EDS already enables substantial savings in this area but, until now, it treated all content as the same. With multi-tiered storage, TV service providers can now increase efficiency further by handling the content differently, depending on the value it has for viewers."
The new tiering also enables object storage, which opens up the possibility of storing in the public or private cloud and makes the system more scalable, flexible and elastic. In terms of scalability, old content can be offloaded to the cloud to make room for new content, and the ability to choose where to store content makes service providers more flexible.
Elasticity includes, for example, the ability to move content temporarily to the public cloud while provisioning the required hardware on the operator’s premises. Damien said, “When we see our customers running short of storage, they typically plan to purchase more hardware, but the provisioning stage – purchasing, delivery and installation – may take some time. With previous versions of NEA-DVR, operators would need to delete content off servers until their new storage space was in place.
With this Multi-Tier update, they can temporarily rent storage from a cloud provider – AWS, Google, Azure – to house the older assets and free up space on their on-prem system. As soon as they receive the hardware and have it up and running they can return those assets from the cloud to this new storage space and stop renting the cloud storage.
The first version will come with manual configuration for VOD, and a basic automation for CloudDVR. On each channel, the operator can define a time-frame for data kept on the first tier and on the second tier. This allows the current month’s data to be kept on the 'hot' storage, and any older content will be moved automatically to the second tier. “In future versions,” Damien said, “We intend to enhance this process with an AI engine in order to move the content based on the projected popularity of each asset.” www.anevia.com