Communications Service Providers (CSPs) launching content delivery networks (CDNs) may be tempted to save a few bucks and settle for a basic analytics and reporting solution to measure online video network performance. Given the increased complexity of online video delivery, however, service providers and their customers will quickly discover that they can not possibly manage their businesses with rudimentary analytics; they need advanced analytics that enable them to probe beneath the surface data to reveal the true insights that can inform their decision making.
Basic reporting can only provide answers to initial questions like “what happened?” and “when did it happen?” Advanced analytics, on the other hand, can provide answers to crucial questions like “what is causing a problem?” and “where does a problem reside?” This enhanced capability enables operator CDNs to optimize performance, identify patterns, more precisely provision capacity, diagnose where problems originate and preempt future occurrences.
By exploiting this information, CSPs can guarantee high quality of service levels and continuously provide end users with a seamless video-watching experience.
Advanced analytics frequently leverages an approach called online analytical processing (OLAP). The defining characteristic of OLAP is its multi-dimensionality, which in turn provides for greatly enhanced analytical depth, breadth and interactivity. Because they are multi-dimensional, OLAP models allow users to view and manipulate data in a number of ways: drilling down across multiple layers to increase data granularity, rolling up data across a particular dimension and focusing on a specific set of data and viewing it from multiple viewpoints (aka “slicing and dicing”.)
In addition, OLAP provides network managers and other key decision-makers with the ability to generate highly detailed reports which can be grouped according to any desired criteria. It also provides users with the flexibility to change the dimensions of their queries quickly and easily, with no need for IT intervention.
The volume, velocity and variety of online video data coursing over networks only further exposes the shortcomings of basic reporting — which is not equipped to measure new technologies like adaptive streaming — and amplifies the need for advanced analytics that can process it all and transform it on the fly into rich, detailed reports.
Skytide Insight for CDNs 3.0 is the only out-of-the-box, advanced analytics & reporting solution specifically designed to enable service providers and their customers to measure and optimize online video performance.