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Developments in Edge Computing for Broadcasters
August 27, 2021 News


Written by: Nur Atikah Yusri, Journalist, AOPG

The pandemic has caused a massive increase in internet activity within the past year and a half. Akamai finds that the traffic growth on their platform had jumped from a peak of 82 Tbps in their first quarter of 2019 pre-pandemic to 167 Tbps in the first quarter of 2020 and has pushed 200 Tbps in 2021. More interestingly, the edge computing company has observed that the minimum daily amount of traffic averages out to 100 Tbps of just daily activity, not aided by events or specific releases.

In a recent media roundtable, Harish Menon, Senior Director of Global Broadcast Operations for Akamai, discussed the new realities of live streaming and how Akamai has adapted to bring its users the best services amidst the pandemic. Users looking to view large, live events such as the recent Tokyo Olympics account for a lot of the online traffic. User expectations revolve around fast, reliable, and secure access to live streams on different devices.

In these trying times, Harish highlights three critical drivers to online live streaming to address the demands being namely scale, reliability, and security found in Akamai’s Intelligent Edge Platform and Akamai’s Broadcast Operation Control Centre (BOCC). The BOCC is a solution for customers that want to offload the proactive monitoring, alerting, live support, and mitigation of their video streams. In the words of Harish, “Live streaming is not just getting the video from one place to the other. In the current scenario, live streaming applications; web or mobile is highly complicated workflow ecosystems that have APIs, mini-applications and continuous running scripts which can be offloaded to edge computing, holistically improving the overall experience of the application.” As a leading-edge platform provider, it can be said that solutions provided by Akamai are agnostic as they work with customers that store their data in various places.

The scale has always been an important aspect to consider, especially with increasing internet traffic. Akamai’s Intelligent Edge Platform operates at a massive scale for its customers. According to Harish, the company has about 350,000 servers, and more are being added as time goes on. The addition to their servers aims to increase power and optimise the services that are being provided for its customers. Their intelligent edge platform has diverse functionality, is intelligent and programmable and has unparalleled distribution as it operates in 135 countries. During the Tokyo 2020 Games, Akamai provided more than 30 customers with 4,500 hours of around the clock event support to deliver reliable and safe video streaming at scale.

In terms of reliability, since the content is cached at the edge, it can be delivered faster to users. Congestion and disruption are also avoided due to the location and the advanced routing protocols of the system. Advanced communication protocols and just an overall use of edge computing reduces latency. Ensuring that the service provided is reliable.

Security is one of the most important aspects of any industry, as current conditions have increased cybersecurity threats to various organisations. Broadcasters are no exception as they are hit with phishing attacks, piracy and account sharing problems that very much affect their profits. Harish stated that there are ways to combat piracy, but there is no one-size-fits-all solution to fight off these cybercriminals as pirates are known to innovate and transform methods in the middle of their attack. Therefore, it is essential to monitor video streams to detect and stop these attempts. Akemi provides a comprehensive cybersecurity solution to its customers encompassing DDoS protection, application security, pirates, bots and fraud and secure application access.

The company is eager to further explore the use of AI on their platform as Akamai’s BOCC has an AIOps driven procedure that can automatically shift through millions of data points, pinpointing problems and hypothetically solve them. 24/7 monitoring provided through the solution is monitored by 78 media specialists around the globe enabling. Click here to check it out.