How MainStreaming’s AI-powered iMDP technology has helped
to secure competitive advantage for Sky Italia
As Europe’s leading media and entertainment company, Sky is a name that is synonymous with top content, quality broadcasting, and high levels of choice.
In line with changing consumer demand, and given Sky’s strong reputation in sports broadcast and news, it was vital that on-demand services could accommodate real-time streaming of live sports and entertainment shows to its increasingly large consumer base.
It became clear that an integrated and flexible solution is required to handle the increasing video consumption and quality – bitrate – across Sky Go, Sky Q, Sky Wifi, and NOW platforms.
Sky Italia selected MainStreaming® to support the process of video streaming delivery to their entire user base; a user base that would be accessing the service from across multiple different networks.
To guarantee full governance of a complex ecosystem such as that maintained by Sky, MainStreaming has implemented its Hybrid intelligent Media Delivery Network (IMDP), with private delivery nodes working in synergy with the MainStreaming Global intelligent Media Delivery Network.
AI-powered Smart Synapses are the core of the platform, which guarantees full control of the streaming process whilst offering the best Quality of Experience to the viewer.
MainStreaming Private iMDP is based upon MainStreaming® “Synapse x10”. The high throughput, low latency proprietary technology of the “Synapse x10”, using only a 3U rack unit, results in high density and low energy deployment. The nodes are centrally managed with the MainStreaming Media Manager, a unified tool to define and manage virtual iMDP over a mix of global and private delivery nodes.
The MainStreaming® Hybrid iMDP solution provided includes the following components:
- Private iMDP deployment to serve Sky Wifi broadband customers.
- Private iMDP deployment to serve viewers connected with the major Italian Internet Service Providers (ISPs).
- MainStreaming® shared nodes (Global iMDP) for other ISPs and peak of traffic.
The centralized management of the entire platform gives Sky a single point of configuration and control so that the Video Streaming team is aware in real time of the capacity available throughout the infrastructure and can therefore plan in advance for peak of traffic.
Supporting Sky’s core business case
A key element of MainStreaming’s approach is engaging in careful and open communication right from the start, with the belief that strong communication at the outset of the project yields better outcomes, achieved more efficiently, with fewer changes or disruptions.
It is vital to understand the business needs of a client, not merely their technical demands. The ability of the iMDP platform to deliver seamless, high-quality, real-time video in a consistently reliable manner was vital not only in delivering live sports broadcast to users – an element that has always been a key part of Sky’s reputation – but also real-time demand for other forms of programming, including news and ‘must-see’ new releases.
MainStreaming has been able to fully support Sky entering the broadband business, providing a complete VDN ecosystem with a flexible hybrid iMDP approach that centralizes the management of on-net, off-net and global video delivery.
It can be easy to focus on how technology implementations aid bottom-line measures; particularly profits and operational costs. But increasingly, modern companies need to recognize that the values that their customer base seeks in products are becoming more complex and nuanced. In particular, the incorporation of green credentials into a business’s operating model carries with its key reputational brand benefits.
A useful – but important – side-effect of Mainstreaming’s iMDP system is that it is low in energy consumption, making it a green technology that contributes to Sky’s environmental strategic vision.
Continuing the relationship
MainStreaming’s relationship with Sky began nearly two years ago, and the incredible success of the initial system implementation meant that Sky whose comfortable with re-approaching MainStreaming to expand their existing capacity. A further expansion would allow them to deal with the remarkable growth in traffic volume they have seen, and help them in the development of a robust roadmap for technical delivery that can sustain the company’s expected growth of online video in upcoming years.
This has involved doubling the capacity offered by the MainStreaming® iMDP technology, all whilst maintaining uninterrupted service to existing viewers.
Case study at a glance
To meet customers’ viewing experience expectation, integrating an intelligent delivery network to flawless stream video content in multi-CDN context.
MainStreaming® Hybrid intelligent Media Delivery Platform
- Prevent any congestion through a seamless API integration
- Flexible model to support the transition toward a pure “Private VDN” approach
“We are always looking for innovative technology that allows us to offer our subscribers the best Quality of Experience when watching video content. The innovation brought by MainStreaming makes us the market leader in the distribution of online video, and at the same time, allows us to renew the way video is transmitted”.
Massimo Bertolotti, BroadBand CTO Network at Sky Italia
“We are proud to have worked with a client as prestigious and substantial as Sky – not least because it demonstrates perfectly the absolute scalability of MainStreaming solutions, and their ability to accommodate large and complex content delivery setups. We take pride in the fact that our products deliver innovation, quality, stability, reliability and speed – all elements that will be vital in allowing Sky to maintain its competitive advantage over other key players in the Italian OTT market. We look forward to maintaining a close continuing relationship with them, providing ongoing support and insight as need”.
Antonio Corrado, Founder and CEO of MainStreaming