There are few constants in the world of technology – one of them has to be that there will never be enough bandwidth… Your connection can never keep up with the growing need of enterprises and consumers. Binge viewing especially has become a plague for carriers who are seeing their costs increase exponentially.
Enter Qwilt, the company that functions as a a virtual CDN-enabler for the last-mile through the use of appliances which run on COTS hardware and sit in the carrier network assisiting in caching in the important area between the core to aggregation to the edge to home. The boxes are deployed as close to the customer’s homes as possible and use an optical network tap to passively monitor video traffic for file popularity. Once such files are identified – typically video but also things like iOS upades, they are stored in the box and available to be delivered to other consumers who request the file.
According to Gleb Brichko Director of Makrketing for the company, carriers are working with his company to save on transit and CAPEX costs. In fact, the company says it can serve up over 50% of the video traffic on a network and they price their solution so that a carrier sees an ROI in less than 12 months. Smaller carriers will have to write a check for at least $40,000 to get started.
The company has over 100 signatures of popular video sites and as the system gets deployed in new countries it identifies other popular sites it needs to monitor and cache. The company calls the category it plays in “video fabric controllers” and I am not thrilled with the term but it doesnt mean it won’t stick.
The interesting thing is the company is basically promoting a caching appliance/solution which isn’t new but it adds in DPI, analytics and a great GUI and as a result will generate lots of excitement as it solves a real problem. Brichko spent a good deal of time talking with me mentioning “legacy” caching controllers which require more equipment to acheive the same goals. Point being Qwilt is able to take advanatage of more powerful OTS hardware instead of relying on older application-specific hardware.
In terms of specs, a 2RU box can classify 20 gbps of traffic and deliver 10 gbps traffic and it sits out-of-band as mentioned earlier, meaning it doesn’t block the network.
Glebb mentioned another reason why customers are buying from the company – they don’t want to keep relying on service-specific video caching solutions as they are costly to maintain and power – especially when a service becomes less popular.
Video is not slated to get less popular anytime soon and Bob Iger the CEO of Disney mentioned this week that we can expect new products from his company that bypass traditional distribution methods for what will likely be internet delivery. Carriers will certainly be scrambling to keep up with this deliuge of demand and Qwilt hopes to be the company they rely on to help this effort.