Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Ah, multicast video

Was the inauguration a good case for multicast video? This summary from Merit Network said
Multicast connections, where multiple users are served by a single outgoing connection, provided Merit's members who are mulitcast-enabled with a more consistent rate of traffic, while campus networks that served unicast streaming traffic, with one stream for every single connection, experienced an exponential spike in traffic.

"Our Members who took advantage of multicast to view the Inauguration not only got great service, but didn't contribute to the traffic surge," Welch said.

"The impact of using multicast was significantly less for those Merit Members without a doubt," added Bob Stovall, vice president of network operations and engineering.
The graphs of traffic are interesting.

So is multicast the answer? Maybe not. Check this out: sending traffic from New Zealand to San Francisco and back to New Zealand because of cost.

Note to self: here is the online form to request CENIC to turn on multicast. Here's some of the 'channels" that are out there now.