Streaming With Edge Computing: Scale as Much as You Want and Don't Worry About Poor Performance

Are you an IT professional and want to know how edge computing solves the most common issues related to video streaming? Find out in this blog post.

Isidro Iturat Hernández - Technical Researcher
Streaming With Edge Computing: Scale as Much as You Want and Don't Worry About Poor Performance

If you work with an IT infrastructure that provides customers with robust streaming services, you must have realized by now that doing it through the cloud or an on-premises system is no longer enough to offer a superior user experience.

You might even accept poor video delivery performance as an issue of the streaming market as a whole, not only of your business or service.

Despite that, according to Vantage Market Research [1], data consumption is already high and is increasing, with a compound annual growth rate in video consumption of 20.5% by 2030, in spite of the technical and economic challenges commonly faced, such as latency, lack of scalability, increased costs, customer loss, etc.​ 

And this is where edge computing comes in to change this landscape.

How Does Edge Computing Solve Usual Streaming Video Delivery Challenges?

High latency

Image freezing, pixelation, or playback errors are typical results of high latency. But there’s a solution: edge computing.

How does edge computing solve high latency?

With its highly distributed network of edge locations, an edge platform moves video processing and caching to the closest edge location that can most optimally meet the end user’s needs without bringing data from the origin.

Azion’s Edge Computing Platform also has Edge Cache, a solution that keeps a copy of the cached content at the edge location closest to the end user. 

Edge Cache lets you customize settings through advanced functions, such as Slice Settings, that split large video files into smaller ones and deliver content gradually, thus avoiding long transfer times. 

The immediate result is ultra-low latency.

Service outages due to poor scalability

Congestion in cloud and on-premises networks can bring a website or web application down in the most severe cases.

It can easily happen in moments of high streaming demand, for example, on a large university platform when many students watch lectures simultaneously or huge broadcasting events such as the Olympics.

At the edge, a load balancer—like the Azion Load Balancer—can distribute data within the edge platform and between the edge, the cloud providers, and on-premises servers. On Azion’s platform, you can configure it, defining your content’s origins, timeouts, and error handling.

The result is 100% availability, even during peak network traffic, and a system that always scales at the most appropriate time and place.

High IT costs

Streaming costs can be negatively impacted by many factors, such as:

  • High churn rate. This is usually caused by poor UX or aggressive price reductions due to increased competition. According to Deloitte[2], the global average churn rate in 2022 for streaming providers was 30%.

  • Uncontrolled increase in costs associated with cloud providers. On the one hand, it’s due to growing data consumption; on the other hand, due to customers being forced to choose between plans that often require overprovisioning and the inclusion of features that won’t even be used.

  • Vendor lock-in. Many providers impose it, which doesn’t allow using third-party applications that optimize and modernize operations to adapt to market changes.

How is it at the edge?

Edge computing platforms are serverless and focused on reducing data consumption, automatically reducing IT costs.

Azion takes cost reduction even further: no vendor lock-in in the platform, a pay-per-use system, and a solutions architecture designed to reduce CI/CD-related friction.

Cyber threats

Another consequence of increasing digitization is the exponential increase in cyber threats. In the case of streaming platforms, attackers seek to impact their systems and hijack user data.

Streaming at the edge adds more security to your applications. If an attack happens, it will be stopped at the edge location closest to the attack’s source, as far as possible from the origin and from your user’s devices.

Azion offers more. It has a complete cybersecurity stack, the Edge Firewall, that neutralizes the most advanced attacks (OWASP Top 10 list, zero-day attacks, DNS protection with DNSSEC, and more) and creates custom rules for authentication and access control.

Success case

UNINTER is a Brazilian university that is a reference in e-learning, with more than 500,000 students already graduated, five campuses in Brazil and 12 abroad.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the number of online students increased dramatically due to the need to accommodate those previously in face-to-face classes.

UNINTER used this opportunity to modernize its infrastructure, adapting it to the hyperconnected economy.

At first, the university needed to streamline the broadcasting of video classes, improve availability, and reduce data and bandwidth usage at the source.

With Azion’s Edge Computing Platform, UNINTER reached over 90% data transfer from the edge, with a 91% reduction in bandwidth usage, and achieved 100% service availability.

The university reached the necessary scalability to produce more than 20,000 video classes annually, with ultra-low latency and reduced IT infrastructure costs.

To learn more about it, access the full case here.

Do you want to know how Azion can help you? Talk to one of our experts now.


[1] Video Streaming Market - Global Industry Assessment & Forecast | Vantage Market Research
[2] Streaming Video Providers Seek New Ways to Deliver Value | Deloitte

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