Lancaster University to reduce Video-on-Demand (VoD) service costs for network operators


by Amy-jo Crowley| 18 February 2014

The university has been awarded €80,000 from the EU GÉANT Innovation Programme.

Lancaster University has been granted about €80,000 (£66,000) of EU funding to reduce the cost of delivering Video-on-Demand (VoD)services for network operators.

The university's OpenFlow VoD development was one of the 21 networking research projects chosen to be funded by the GÉANT Innovation Programme, which was launched to bring new ideas for network connectivity.

The use and popularity of VoD services are increasing, according to Nicholas Race, a senior lecturer within the School of Computing and Communications at Lancaster University, as are cost implications for operators because of the size and quantity of data that has to be transferred.

He told CBR: "We intend to use the funding to seek mechanisms that reduce this impact, particularly the repeated delivery of identical content over the network, and therefore ease the cost of delivery to the network operator.

"This will be realised with the use of the GÉANT OpenFlow facility, where we would thoroughly evaluate the VoD in-network caching service from both a network and user's point of view."

The university had already designed and built a prototype architecture that provides VoD caching with the use of OpenFlow at a single physical site.

"Our work in this research area exploits Software Defined Networking (SDN) for Video Content Distribution, as SDN promises the ability to rapidly deploy new protocols and services over a highly configurable network infrastructure," Race said.

He added: "Our work will focus on using OpenFlow to optimise important VoD delivery metrics, such as buffering time, throughput, and video quality.

"Such experimentation and evaluation using a highly demanding traffic profile will go beyond what is possible with a laboratory evaluation."

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