Start-up accelerates Web video delivery

* Nokeena Networks' Media Flow Director is interoperable with industry standard players and other infrastructure elements

Start-up Nokeena Networks today took the wraps off its new software appliance, which is designed to help media providers deliver high quality Web video quickly and reliably to viewers.

Nokeena’s Media Flow Director combines video processing, multi-tier caching and network optimization features to support up to 40,000 video streams and 10Gbps per rack unit.

The goal is to let media publishers and distributors offer their customers high-quality viewing at a low cost per media stream, according to Rajan Raghavan, co-founder and CEO of Nokeena. “What we are essentially able to do with this software appliance is deliver TV-like viewing experience at a very high scale, out of the smallest footprint you can imagine,” Raghavan says.

Key to the design of Media Flow Director is that it can fit into the existing infrastructure of content publishers and content delivery network (CDN) providers - Nokeena’s initial customer targets. “These are people who already have an infrastructure which they need to optimize for media delivery,” Raghavan says.

Media Flow Director is interoperable with industry standard players and other infrastructure elements, which means customers aren’t locked in to a proprietary system, says Prabakar Sundarrajan, Nokeena’s chief security officer and CTO.

“People have the choice of what encoding they want to use, what service provider they want to use, what player they want to use. Everything is open,” Sundarrajan says. “They can use their own servers, their own storage, their own networking equipment.”

It’s also designed to ensure that media content is delivered at a consistent rate, despite changes in network conditions and sudden shifts in viewer demand. “It’s an adaptive sense-and-respond technology, but it does not require a custom player to be downloaded and installed. We do it all from the network side,” Sundarrajan says.

In addition, content providers can use Nokeena’s delivery controls to publish better quality videos for premium content, for example, and restrict content resolution for less critical items, such as user-generated videos.

“People view videos at different rates. Some of the content is viewed at 300 kilobits, some is viewed at 1 megabit, some is viewed at 2 megabits,” Sundarrajan explains. “When you have this blend of flowing media rates, you need to make sure that each session is getting the correct number of packets for that rate. So if you have 1,000 people watching 4-megabit video and 1, 000 people watching 400-kilobit video, the people watching 4-megabit video need to get 10 times the packets of the 400-kilobit sessions. Plain old software doesn’t do that.”

Nokeena is based in Santa Clara, Calif. The company was founded in February 2008 and has received venture funding from Clearstone Venture Partners and Trinity Ventures.

“As the demand and consumption of rich media have escalated, the gap in efficient, cost-effective high quality media delivery has widened as content publishers struggle to achieve consistent quality and reliability on existing networks,” said Peter Christy, principal at Internet Research Group, in a statement. “Nokeena’s new media infrastructure will enable a new generation of providers to deliver media to hundreds of thousands of online viewers with a better quality of experience at a lower cost-per-stream.”

Join the Network World communities on Facebook and LinkedIn to comment on topics that are top of mind.

Copyright © 2009 IDG Communications, Inc.

IT Salary Survey 2021: The results are in