So, the world’s biggest CDN is now in possession of P2P technology for live video streaming, the same type of technology we have created and are putting out in the world.
Our opinion? We are thrilled!
Yes, there is the slight negative consequence that we will probably not be able to enroll Akamai as a customer, in the near future. Other than that, this is great news. Not only for Akamai’s customers who will be getting improved quality of service, but also for all of us, who have developed P2P technology for online video delivery.
What changes for P2P delivery services after Akamai’s purchase of Octoshape:
Having suffered for years of the inherited bad reputation of its distant uncle, BitTorrent, P2P-assisted video delivery has finally been initiated into the video industry, front entrance, brass band, fireworks and all. It is hard to renounce a technology validated by a player the magnitude of Akamai.
It is important to note that Octoshape brings a portfolio of different technologies, Troy Snyder, VP for Business Development at Akamai, touches on this fact in an interview given for beet.tv, “We’ve taken a stack of different technologies, peer-to-peer being only one of them. (...) This set of client technologies for us is really redefining what it means to be the edge and to really push that edge out into the hands of the consumers themselves.” His statement highlights the importance of this purchase for Akamai in reaching the coveted last-mile - something that P2P uniquely enables.
Based on conversations we have had with CDNs interested in partnering with us, there is a natural partnership there. P2P-assisted delivery naturally extends a CDN’s capacity and protects their infrastructure from overloading during high demand. This is surely something Akamai has considered.
We see the following comment by Bill Wheaton, General Manager of the Media Division at Akamai, as indicative of this: "Octoshape represents a huge opportunity for us to accelerate our promise to our Media customers of delivering the best quality for online content at unparalleled scale. The Octoshape technology will further differentiate us from our competition and accelerate client deployment around the world."
What is more, this is not Akamai trying on a new fad, but a strategic move they have been considering for at least a year. Evidence can be found in this presentation they delivered at the OVFSquad conference of January 23, 2014, which outlines their interest in expanding their stack with client-assisted delivery.
The new way of delivering video via P2P has nothing to do with previous, rather ineffective, attempts to do so. However, few are aware of this and the onus is on us to spread the word and prove it. Akamai’s move to buy Octoshape renewed the interest in P2P video delivery technology, among other things.
This is not just a hunch - we have witnessed an increased interest (measured in page visits right after the announcement, requests for information and registrations in our customer portal) after the news broke.
So, congratulations Octoshape, a big thank you to Akamai - and on we go.
Let’s reinvent how video is served - there is much room for improvement, and P2P is going to be a part of the complex solution.
PS. So is MPEG-DASH.