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Peer5's New System Means 20 Times the Server Power with WebRTC

June 18, 2015

Web-based real time communications have been put to use in a lot of different fields, from customer service - to revolutionizing the meeting - to gaming and beyond. But seeing Peer5 put WebRTC to work in a content delivery network (CDN) was a surprise, and the results were perhaps even more surprising.

Peer5 just recently launched the first Live CDN system with a WebRTC basis, allowing for video publishers to engage in live video streaming that's much more efficient than is commonly seen. With Peer5's systems, putting to use a hybrid of P2P and HTTP, efficiency actually increases the more demand is put on the system. In fact, reports suggest that Peer5's system essentially gives one server the equivalent of 20 servers' worth of power, a development that could turn around streaming video for a great many publishers.

Some have noted that content providers have been facing big costs and are only able to provide a less-than-worthwhile user experience thanks to the sheer sizes involved in content provision. But with Peer5's system, as much as 95 percent of the bandwidth can be offloaded, whether it's used in a standard CDN or with an origin server. That offloading means a better experience for all concerned, whether user or provider. Integration is almost frighteningly easy, with just one line of code to be added to the website that uses it, and a no-install experience waiting for the end user.

Early reports suggest that Peer5 is doing some great things for users already; one user had six origin servers in place with a 500 mbps upstream, and was broadcasting its livestream at 1 mbps. That normally meant 3,000 concurrent viewers before the bandwidth gave out, but bringing in Peer5 brought the number up to 40,000 concurrent viewers maximum, which is better than tenfold growth from one simple change.

There's little doubt that streaming video is the next big thing in entertainment; the growth of over-the-top (OTT) services like Netflix, Hulu and YouTube even in just the last few years shows that point clearly. An entire segment of former cable subscribers known as cable cutters will attest to that much; such have left traditional cable services in favor of online options. Some have never even bothered with cable service to begin with, and recent word from Latin America also proves the growth of the OTT market. Since that growth is focused on the young, it's not likely to go away any time soon, either. But the growth of streaming video depends on the infrastructure, not only upload but also download.

It's likely that Peer5's system will prove popular with content providers eager to get hands on more bandwidth quickly, and the more bandwidth is available, the larger audiences can get, a development that will help streaming video build. It may not be enough to spark the content market by itself, but it's one of those “every little bit helps” situations, and this is certainly more than a little bit of help.

Edited by Stefania Viscusi

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