Webtorials recently posted an excellent and thorough research report that examines how desktop video affects the enterprise network. Dr. E. Brent Kelly of Constellation Research developed this 71-page guide based on his analysis of desktop video solutions from Avaya, Cisco, Polycom, Microsoft and Vidyo. He discusses several relevant video technologies in use today, and then analyzes each vendor's solutions in terms of integration with existing communications systems, architecture, scalability, bandwidth demands and multi-year TCO. The report, titled "Pervasive Video in the Enterprise," is provided by Constellation Research compliments of Avaya.
Beginning with evidence that video is already pervasive in the enterprise, Kelly's report notes that the LAN can generally support HD video, but because HD video may have bit rates of over 1Mbps per endpoint, the amount of bandwidth consumed can quickly become enormous -- so "wide area network (WAN) links can be quickly compromised if they are not properly designed to handle the amount of voice, video and data traffic."
Observing that all their solutions are not equivalent, the report points out that some providers have responded to the bandwidth issues by developing codecs that dynamically scale the video bit rates based on the amount of available bandwidth, and H.264 codecs also offer much more efficient video encoding. "Some offer desktop video as an element of their unified communications suites, while others focus on being video conferencing providers first but with some UC integration points. Consequently, it is critical to understand key implementation and deployment differences among them that affect the total cost of deployment and ownership."
The TCO model included in the report examines four separate use cases, delineating the three-year costs for upfront hardware, software licensing, hardware and software maintenance, installation and bandwidth costs incurred as a result of deploying the video solution. The report also includes an excellent discussion of the various technologies and approaches to desktop video, concluding with an analysis of the TCO results.
Our thanks to Webtorials and Avaya for providing access to the research and to Constellation Research for an excellent reader resource. To access the full report, please click here.