To illustrate his argument, he brought a client, Daniel Brackett, CTO of Extreme Reach, to the Cube at NAB. A TV ad video distribution company, Extreme Reach leverages the advantages of cloud, including lower cost and more efficient distribution, to create competitive advantage against older-model video distributors.
One indicator of the rapid growth of the trend is the rocketing growth of Nirvanix. A public cloud storage startup, its performance last year tripled the revenues of the year before. And its first quarter of this year, says Generaux, has exceeded its entire revenues from 2011.
“In the next 60 days, we will be announcing some very large deals with big name companies,” he promises. “These are already signed, we just haven’t gotten around to announcing them yet.”
Those sales are primarily to two types of customers, he said: large companies that are moving away from the big box purchase strategy and startuups that never used those boxes and by and large keep most of their infrastructure in the cloud.
Extreme Reach is one of the latter, leveraging the cloud both to provide highly dependable, less expensive storage for the ad videos it produces and distributes and, more important, to solve the video distribution problem that has plagued the industry since its commercial inception at the end of WW II.
The challenge is that video files start at the large and quickly grow to be huge. TV’s strategy for storing and distributing these files was originally to send physical tape. That was replaced in the 1990s by catch servers at TV stations that would hold the video files and distribute them to the station’s satellites. The problems with that strategy are that those distribution servers are expensive, distribution is difficult, the entire system is disconnected and fragmented, and storage is limited.
NBC, for instance, plans to video every event at the London Olympics this summer, creating a Big Data situation. Not only will it want to make all that video available to all its outlets immediately, it will also want to keep it all available essentially forever. But, says Brackett, it can’t afford to do that on tier 1 storage, and moving that video to tape renders it inaccessible, while maintaining multiple copies on tape at different locations to ensure against data loss becomes clumsy and difficult.
Extreme Reach, in contrast, provides an everything-anywhere-now strategy built entirely on cloud storage.
“For us TVs, computers, tablets, smart phones are all screens, and we want to reach all of them with seamless, flawless, delivery, wherever they are,” Brackett says. To do this it uploads original video to the cloud, then uses a hybrid internal/cloud system to transcode that video for any target device. It stores all of these copies in the cloud, using multiple storage providers to allow it to move the video close to the target stations and devices. From there it can provide highly efficient, guaranteed delivery that exceeds the performance of the traditional catch server system while reaching across multiple end-user device types and technologies at lower cost.
While Extreme Reach focuses on advertising, Brackett says NBC could use the same strategy for its Olympic video and deliver to more screens in more places while saving money. ”For us the Internet is a vast distributed network that we can leverage to deliver our video to any device with a screen at any location within an hour after it is uploaded. That is performance that our competition cannot match.”
Watch Generaux’s complete interview with Wikibon’s Dave Vellante and SiliconANGLE’s John Furrier here.