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February 28, 2011
Volume XXXIV, Issue 3

paidContent 2011 - Coming This Thursday to NYC

The DCIA proudly supports paidContent - The Next Decade in Digital taking place this Thursday March 3rd at the Times Center in New York, NY.

We hope to see you at this full-day conference brought to you by the organization that, since 2002, has offered the digital media community some of the most thought-provoking events in the industry. As its name suggests, paidContent is all about paid content and its signature conference will cover the subject from every relevant angle.

Last year, senior business executives from across the content industry came together for paidContent 2010, eager to share possible solutions and find new ones for making digital content pay without pinning it all on advertising.

Now the story continues at paidContent 2011. The event will gather bold-faced names, senior executives, and decision makers to engage in forward-looking roundtable discussions and news-breaking Q&As. The ever-growing speaker list includes Nick Denton, founder of Gawker, Dan Rose, VP of Partnerships & Platform Marketing at Facebook and Lauren Zalaznick, Chairman of NBC Universal Entertainment & Digital Networks.

DCINFO readers receive a 15% discount on registration fees by using code DCIA2011. Register now!

Cloud Computing Will Boost EU Economy by $1,019 Billion Dollars

Excerpted from Reuters Report by Paul Sandle

Cloud computing will boost job creation in the European union, and add 763 billion euros ($1,019 billion) in productivity to the top economies over the next five years, according to a study from the Center of Economics and Business Research (CEBR).

"We believe cloud computing will have an impact to the tune of 177 billion euros (a year) by 2015," said Andrew Moloney, a Director at US-based IT firm EMC Corp., which commissioned the study.

Cloud computing - the storage of data and applications on remote servers that are accessed over the Internet - was enabling companies to become more nimble, he said, for example in scaling up a sales operation.

Other benefits included less capital expenditure on information technology (IT) equipment and reduced IT headcount, he said.

"We are really at an inflection point, where 70% of the time in IT departments is spent on keeping the lights on as opposed to innovating and driving new business models," he said.

"Cloud computing is unlocking that capability, whether it's large enterprises using private cloud infrastructures or small-to-medium size enterprises (SMEs) using more public cloud infrastructures."

Of the five major European economies, the UK was the most advanced in the amount of computing moved to the cloud, but it would trail Germany, France, and Italy in terms of the overall financial benefit from the shift to the cloud, said Oliver Hogan, Managing Economist at CEBR.

"That largely centers around the productivity of UK firms," Hogan said. "It's very low by comparison to Germany and pretty low by comparison to France as well."

The study found that while cloud computing would result in cost savings, it would lead to the creation of 446,000 net new jobs a year by 2015 from the creation of new small businesses.

Researchers based the analysis on the assumption that 100% of business workloads would move to the cloud by 2014 from about 20% today.

AT&T Accelerates Cloud Involvement with Enhanced Services

Excerpted from TMCnet Report by Brendan Read

For firms considering going to the cloud to reduce IT costs and make them more flexible to meet changing demands, AT&T has made moving from premise-based to cloud environments much easier through enhancing existing and offering new solutions.

AT&T has enhanced its AT&T Synaptic Compute as a Service Solution. These include integration with AT&T's VPN Service to enable virtual private clouds. Other improvements include an expanded number of operating system (OS) templates, improvements to firewall policies to meet special security requirements, and new self-service and self-provisioning capabilities.

The enhancements to AT&T Synaptic Compute as a Service allow customers to more easily integrate their cloud computing environment and their AT&T VPN, with simplified purchasing, configuration and management, says the carrier.

A new highly flexible model for configuration and pricing of virtual servers allows customers the opportunity for greater cost savings.

AT&T recently said IBM's Cloud Service Provider Platform is one of the best for cloud computing and noted that IBM technology is being used in its new release of AT&T Synaptic Compute as a Service.

IBM uses AT&T's VPN capabilities; both companies have said that integrated solutions combining an IT cloud computing platform and a virtual private network would be a prime differentiator for business class cloud services

AT&T has also enhanced its AT&T Synaptic Storage as a Service Solution. These include long-term data retention options to help meet corporate governance or compliance requirements and new data management and compression capabilities.

AT&T is readying a new mobile solution that allows users to reliably move data to and from AT&T Synaptic Storage as a Service using mobile devices. The app can provide users with mobile access to business information stored in the cloud such as documents or reference material which may be needed while on the go.

Users can also use the app to upload photos, videos and other media into a corporate information repository as part of a business process or to collaboratively share with others across the organization. The service will provide business customers scalable storage and the ability to access and share data whenever they need to

AT&T is allowing cloud computing vendors and third-party developers to assemble capabilities based on its networking technologies that can help business customers derive more benefits from AT&T cloud solutions. The carrier has invited third-party developers and vendors to assemble capabilities that can help business customers more easily, flexibly, and more efficiently transport data to and from AT&T-based cloud solutions.

"With cloud-based solutions powered by AT&T's global network, we can enable companies to become more efficient, more mobile, and more nimble while helping to control their costs," said John Stankey, President and CEO, AT&T Business Solutions. "It's a powerful combination of benefits for companies operating in an economy that continues to challenge all businesses, no matter how large or small."

Report from CEO Marty Lafferty

Photo of CEO Marty LaffertyDCINFO readers are invited to participate with the DCIA in an unprecedented way in the CONTENT IN THE CLOUD Conference at this year's NAB Show as a co-sponsor of this very exciting new event.

CONTENT IN THE CLOUD will explore rapidly emerging cloud computing technologies that promise to expand the possibilities of digital post-production and distribution while also challenging the status quo.

For NAB attendees with IPTV or online delivery in their current or future operating plans, the conference's eight keynotes and four panel discussions will thoroughly examine cloud-delivery of content and its impact on consumers, television manufacturers, telecom industries, and the media.

Throughout the conference, which is included in the education track at this year's NAB Show, we will systematically examine both the pros and cons - the benefits as well as the drawbacks - of cloud computing for broadcasters and other media managers.

Co-sponsorships are priced very attractively at just $5,000 and include several valuable benefits:

Co-sponsors will have a web tile ad on the CONTENT IN THE CLOUD Conference web-page within the NAB Show website. Sponsors' logos and links will also appear on the CONTENT IN THE CLOUD Conference web-page within the DCIA website.

Co-sponsors may provide promotional materials to be distributed at the back of each CONTENT IN THE CLOUD session room. Their companies' names, logos, and brief descriptions will be included in the Conference Brochure distributed on-site to all attendees.

Their logos will also appear on session screen(s) as attendees enter and exit the CONTENT IN THE CLOUD sessions.

Co-sponsors will be included as a CONTENT IN THE CLOUD Conference sponsor in the DCIA's press release announcing the agenda and speaker line-up

They will receive two complimentary conference registrations to the NAB Show.

Co-sponsor logo positioning on all collateral materials will include the NAB Show Program & Exhibit Guide, NAB Show website, on-site signage and promotional pieces/e-mails referring to the CONTENT IN THE CLOUD Conference as well as inclusion in a DCINFO weekly online newsletter lead article previewing the CONTENT IN THE CLOUD Conference.

Interested parties are invited to contact the NAB's Heather Shuster directly at 202-429-5468 as soon as possible for more information.

Cloud computing can dramatically impact many aspects of entertainment delivery - from transcoding to storage to distribution to payment collection to performance measurement. A key question is whether "the cloud" is up to the challenge of consumer demand that is stretching the bounds of today's content delivery infrastructures.

Cloud-based distribution can affect users' fundamental ability to access broadcast station and cable programming service signal streams and to own virtual copies of television programs and motion pictures.

Cloud-computing solutions offer consumers a number of clear advantages over older methods of online content distribution. But just as important as these benefits are the challenges this form of distribution poses to content rights-holders and technology providers to ensure the quality and security of television channels and individual programs.

What have other industries experienced with inadvertent leaks, security breaches, or intentional hacking of confidential data? When users go offline, how can they mitigate inaccessibility to their applications or losing data accidentally? And what happens if a cloud provider goes out of business? What is the content owner's position?

Television manufacturers and broadband network operators are concerned that Internet connectivity and cloud computing could affect the way they develop and market their products and utilize network resources.

Benefits of cloud-delivered content to the consumer electronics (CE) and telecommunications industries include advanced capabilities, new features, and cost advantages. But drawbacks include infrastructure issues, business model disruption, and accountability issues.

What problems do CE manufacturers face in adapting their production, distribution, and post-sale service activities to cloud-based entertainment distribution? What does the on-demand, always-accessible nature of cloud based entertainment delivery mean to broadband networks? What new kinds of liabilities does the cloud present to these entities?

The implications of cloud computing affect all aspects of content delivery, starting with post-production concerns such as transcoding and metadata, as well as each step of multicast streaming and video-on-demand (VoD) downloading through viewer authentication, distribution chain accountability, and performance analytics.

The benefits of cloud-delivered content to broadcasters include efficiency, control, and flexibility Improvements. Cloud-based solutions open up many possibilities. But drawbacks include interoperability, data security, and quality of service (QoS) issues in unreliable network environments and over long distances.

Ultimately, the expanded opportunities cloud computing offers to reach broader audiences and to present and monetize television programming and filmed entertainment in new ways are compelling, and in our closing session we will explore the even more advanced cloud-based solutions that are now on the drawing boards. Share wisely, and take care.

7 Advantages Cloud Computing Holds for Your Business

Excerpted from Memeburn Report by Garreth Bloor

Cloud computing refers to data access and storage services that do not require end-user knowledge of the physical location and configuration of the system delivering a particular service.

Trends in cloud computing indicate software may cease to become the tangible product we are used to buying in stores or through online shopping. Companies and individual users can access software that resides on their servers in the "cloud" or the "grid," enabling users to acquire that software and information from any device with internet access.

There are seven clear reasons cloud computing is no longer pie in the sky, but increasingly good for business.

1. Keeping your software in the "clouds" reduces the maintenance required for your computers. Since almost every computer these days has an update function that searches for the latest software, when updates take place, the upgrades don't require restarting one's computer. Unless the update affects functionality or visual elements, you as the user are positively oblivious to the changes.

2. Cloud computing guarantees increased reliability and saves users from the threat of losing unrecoverable data on their computers. "In the case of grid computing if a storage server on the cloud fails due to hardware or software issues, the service provider needs only to shift the load over to other servers or bring up a backup server in its place. If it occurred at a users premises with installed software a simple issue can turn to hours of technical support over the phone, costly downtime, and unhappy users and customers," said Gilberto Perera, author of the article 10 Reasons Why Cloud Computing is the Wave of the Future.

3. Computer data storage is never an issue if you are willing to pay for it. And the expense is minimal, a time saver and a safety guarantee. In the cloud computing environment, storage is not an issue as the service providers need only to add servers or shift load from one server to another to accommodate for the additional use of space.

4. Companies and individuals can cut costs in a number of ways. Capital expenditures are lowered as service providers can at ensure lower cost. The spending is due to an end in hardware purchases and a reduction in staff required as the majority of the maintenance is performed at the service provider.

5. Eliminating software upgrades as it is done automatically in cloud computing is also accompanied by fast access to new technology, rather than forcing them to wait for a final, packaged product to be shipped as has been the case till now.

6. For companies committed to effective environmental practice, cloud computing is highly conducive to company commitments towards sustainability. "When businesses use current assets instead of purchasing additional hardware they reduce the size of their carbon footprint because it is one less server that is put into service, it is one less server that is consuming electricity," points out Perera. The collective benefits accrued through millions of companies switching to cloud computing is immense and likely to be viewed as a responsible business practice by environmental groups

7. In a market where mobile and internet are increasingly bosom buddies in the global increased rate of internet access, the mobile platform is going to be heavily impacted by this technology is set to increase as move into the future. Though the mobile cloud industry is still in its infancy, it's expected to accelerate the commercialization of IT and that can only be good news for mobile phone users and customers using cloud computing.

Netflix to Stream Off-Air CBS TV Programming

Excerpted from Media Daily News Report by David Goetzl

Netflix has inked a deal with CBS that allows it to stream some of the network's shows, although apparently none currently on the air. The list includes the recently canceled "Medium" and summer show "Flashpoint."

Under the two-year deal, there is also a slew of library content owned by CSB Corp. such as "Cheers," "Frasier." and the original "Hawaii Five-O." CBS has an option to re-up the deal for two more years.

Negotiations with Netflix to stream current CBS shows will continue. Netflix is content to acquire rights to previous seasons, saying that fits its business model as sort of a catch-up-on-a-rainy-day approach.

The company does stream back episodes of shows currently running on ABC, NBC, and Fox.

"This deal recognizes the increasing value of our content in today's marketplace," stated Scott Koondel, who heads distribution for CBS's syndication unit.

Wells Fargo analyst Marci Ryvicker said the deal could worth hundreds of millions of dollars to CBS.

Meanwhile, Amazon said it would make 5,000 movies and TV shows available for instant streaming to members of its Amazon Prime service (which costs $79 a year) at no additional charge. The service marks an expansion for the service that allows free two-day shipping for Amazon purchases.

Rdio Makes Its Debut on Roku Media Player

Rdio, the unlimited, on-demand social music service from the founders of Skype and Kazaa, this week continued revolutionizing the music experience by extending its reach to a leading home entertainment platform with its debut on the Roku streaming player.

Rdio service lets music fans listen to as many songs as they like, anytime, anywhere. Built around community and powered by people, Rdio puts the social into music by making it super easy to both share music and discover new music through friends and other influencers. Rdio offers millions of songs in its continuously expanding music catalogue for just pennies a day.

"This combination of Rdio and Roku is a solid step forward in our march to redefine the music experience across the variety of platforms and devices in the marketplace," said Drew Larner, CEO of Rdio. "By extending Rdio's core social and music innovations onto Roku devices, users can, for the first time, share and discover music from their TV and home entertainment system."

Roku is a family of streaming players that deliver high definition video and audio via built in wireless and ethernet to your TV and home entertainment system. The Roku Channel Store contains over 150 channels for customers to add to their Roku device for immediate, on-demand viewing and listening. Since pioneering the streaming player category in 2008, Roku has sold over a million devices and served over a billion streams of content.

"We are excited about the rich social dimension that Rdio brings to the Roku Channel Store," said Anthony Wood, founder and CEO of Roku. "With great music and an innovative service, Rdio offers tremendous value for customers and an experience that will fuel connection within the Roku user community."

Rdio is an unlimited, on-demand social music service that lets subscribers listen to music on the web, in their homes and on their mobile phones, even offline. One of Rdio's key differentiators is its unique social design that emulates the way music has always been shared - person-to-person (P2P).

Rdio subscribers build and share their online music collections from a catalog of over 8 million songs, and can see the listening activity, collections and playlists of other Rdio users including friends and influencers.

Subscribers can also see what's in heavy rotation in their network and the Rdio community, top charts and newly released albums. Rdio can also help listeners decide to play what's next with Artist Rdio Stations and recommendations based on music you've previously played.

Rdio has relationships with all four major labels (EMI Music, Sony Music Entertainment, Universal Music Group and Warner Music Group) and thousands of indie labels. Rdio platform and device support includes a browser-based application, Mac and PC desktop clients, a Google Chrome Web Store App, Sonos, and Roku as well as iPhone, Android, Windows Phone 7 and BlackBerry mobile devices.

Box.net: The Facebook of Cloud Computing?

Excerpted from InfoTECH Report by Laura Stotler

There's a fresh face in Silicon Valley, and venture capitalists are making a bet his start-up online storage company will do for cloud computing what Facebook has done for social networking. The company is Box.net and its CEO is Aaron Levie, a 26-year-old USC dropout. Sound familiar?

The company and its CEO share a number of similarities with Facebook and its infamous founder, Mark Zuckerberg, and that fact, along with a promising business plan, was enough to convince investors to drop $48 million on the growing enterprise.

Based in Palo Alto, CA, Box.net offers online "storage lockers" for personal and corporate information. Users simply upload their content to the company's servers, and it may be accessed from any device and through any type of Internet connection for ease of sharing.

Free individual storage accounts are available with up to 5 GB of storage space. Box.net makes its profit through corporate customers, who pay $15 per user annually to get administrative control over stored content.

The company recently announced updates to its iPad and IPhone applications, to offer enterprise-grade security and functionality for its mobile content management. Box.net says more than 60,000 businesses and 73% of Fortune 500 companies use its services to share, manage, and collaborate on content. Indeed, the company was profiled in Forbes last June and is proving to be a formidable opponent for heavyweights like Mozy and Sharepoint.

"We think it may be reaching an inflection point," said George Bischof, Managing Partner of Meritech Capital, of the investment. He points out parallels to Facebook's position when Meritech decided to invest in it in 2006.

At that point, Facebook became available to everyone after being initially adopted by college students. The company has grown from 12 million active users to more than 500 million today, with a market value of $50 billion and a $1.5 billion investment coordinated by Goldman Sachs Group Inc. just last month.

Levie left USC in 2005 and founded the company backed by an $11,000 investment from longtime friend and co-founder Dylan Smith, which had been won in poker games. The company finished last year with a market value of $5 million, and while Levie won't reveal the current value after the venture investment, he indicated it's below $1 billion. He said an IPO won't happen until 2013 at the earliest.

"Enterprise software is a less sexy space than social networking, but that has created a huge opportunity for investors like us," said John O'Farrell, a general partner at Andreessen Horowitz. He believes Box.net has the potential to deliver a giant windfall for investors. It would appear that the bets have already been placed.

Cloud Computing Isn't Just a Buzz Word 

Excerpted from Benzinga Report

What are world-class CIOs doing today to operate more efficiently and cost-effectively than their peers? The answer is cloud computing. Experienced CIO, Fred Mapp, introduced a new cloud computing white paper today, entitled Cloudy with a Chance of Confusion.

The white paper, presented by OneNeck IT Services, describes the benefits of cloud computing and explains the different shapes and forms of cloud computing.

CIOs, IT managers, and business executives are dealing with the challenge of keeping up with technology changes to meet the increasing demand from business units for IT functionality and from CFOs for decreasing IT budgets.

These challenges are currently being addressed by companies considering cloud computing to achieve flexibility and scalability in managing IT applications and infrastructure. Yet, many businesses are still reluctant to make the leap into cloud computing.

Fred Mapp shared, "Corporate management and especially CIOs are still hesitant and slow to migrate to cloud computing. Legitimate concerns exist with any new technology trend or platform. CIOs are not completely sold on the value of cloud computing and how it fits into the company's IT plans."

Mapp continued, "Transformational IT change can be difficult, but the truth is, today's mobile networks and interconnected IT environments demand new approaches to delivering business applications. Cloud computing will move to the forefront of the market not just as a buzz word, but will provide significant benefits to companies that embrace it."

The complimentary cloud computing white paper is available from OneNeck IT Services, and includes: surveys of leading companies on cloud computing issues; information about the definition of and types cloud computing; benefits of migrating to the cloud; inhibitors, barriers, concerns and myths; and considerations for the implications and tradeoffs associated with moving to the cloud.

Thunderbolt from Intel Supports Blazingly Fast Data Transfers with HD Display

Intel this week launched Thunderbolt, a new high-speed PC connection technology that brings together high-speed data transfer and high-definition (HD) display onto a single cable.

Running at 10Gbps, Thunderbolt technology can transfer a full-length HD movie in less than 30 seconds.

This Intel-developed technology is coming to market through a technical collaboration with Apple, and is available first on Apple's new line of MacBook Pro laptop computers.

The vision for Thunderbolt technology (formerly codenamed "Light Peak") is to move media faster, simplify connections between devices, and foster new and exciting ways to build and use PCs.

Combining high-speed data and HD video connections together onto a single cable is instrumental to achieving that vision. Thunderbolt technology delivers this via two communications methods, or protocols - PCI Express for data transfer and DisplayPort for displays. PCI Express has the flexibility to connect to almost any type of device, and DisplayPort can drive greater than 1080p resolution displays and up to eight channels of audio simultaneously.

Thunderbolt technology is compatible with existing DisplayPort displays and adapters. All Thunderbolt technology devices share a common connector, and let individuals simply daisy-chain their devices one after another, connected by electrical or optical cables.

Thunderbolt technology is designed to meet the demands of serious HD media creators. For example, videographers can unleash their creativity using high-bandwidth audio and video capture/mixing devices, and get both low latency and highly-accurate time synchronization for real-time processing.

At 10Gbps, larger media files are transferred faster so there's less time spent waiting to watch and edit videos. Data can be backed up and restored quicker, so there's less waiting for archived content.

For mobile PC users, it means having a single connector on their ultra-thin laptop that extends their high-speed media and HD display capabilities at home or in the office. Thunderbolt technology is complementary to other I/O technologies that Intel continues to support.

"Working with HD media is one of the most demanding things people do with their PCs," said Mooly Eden, General Manager, PC Client Group, Intel. "With Thunderbolt technology, Intel has delivered innovative technology to help professionals and consumers work faster and more easily with their growing collection of media content, from music to HD movies. We've taken the vision of simple, fast transfer of content between PCs and devices, and made it a reality."

"We're thrilled to collaborate with Intel to bring the groundbreaking Thunderbolt technology to Mac users," said Bob Mansfield, Apple's senior vice president of Mac Hardware Engineering. "With ultra-fast transfer speeds, support for high-resolution displays and compatibility with existing I/O technologies, Thunderbolt is a breakthrough for the entire industry and we think developers are going to have a blast with it."

Thunderbolt technology is powered by an Intel controller chip, and uses a small connector suitable for mobile devices that will be included in products supporting the technology. Several innovative companies have announced Thunderbolt technology-based products, or currently plan to support Thunderbolt technology in upcoming products, including Aja, Apogee, Avid, Blackmagic, LaCie, Promise, and Western Digital. Intel is working with the industry on a range of Thunderbolt technology-enabled products including computers, displays, storage devices, audio/video devices, cameras, docking stations and more.

Ambitious Cloud Service Needs Fine-Tuning

Excerpted from ZDNet UK Report by Jack Clark

SpotCloud, a spot market for cloud computing capacity, is symbolic of the dreams of economists and technologists alike - it hopes to be a platform for the ultra-efficient pricing and dispersal of compute resources in the cloud. 

The service allows companies with spare computing capacity to sell it through the SpotCloud clearing house, where buyers can bid upon it. It is analogous to other spot markets, such as Google's AdWords, where the price of a keyword is determined by where its supply intersects with demand. 

However, in SpotCloud price will not be assigned algorithmically, but by sellers as they learn to meet the market. SpotCloud has been in beta since November 2010, but announced its public launch on February 14th. 

The process for using the service as a buyer is to deposit credit into the SpotCloud platform, then create a virtual machine (VM) appliance using a SpotCloud package builder, upload the VM into the SpotCloud platform via the SpotCloud management interface and then select their cloud compute provider according to cost and location. 

A seller defines the hardware profiles of their assets, the location information, the duration of available capacity and the associated resource costs. VMs that fit the seller's criteria are automatically delivered to their cloud infrastructure, where SpotCloud monitors and debits the buyer on an hourly utility basis. At the end of the month, sellers are paid for any capacity that has been used via the SpotCloud marketplace. 

A fuzzily defined proportion of each transaction goes directly to Enomaly's - parent company of SpotCloud - coffers. According to the FAQ, "sellers will be paid at least 70% of each transaction depending on the volume of transactions offered through the market." 

Sellers are anonymized "in order to avoid directly competing with regular retail sales of cloud services," according to the SpotCloud press release. Spotcloud requires VMs to be Linux or Windows-based and runs on top of Google's platform-as-a-service product Google App Engine (GAE) and Enomaly's elastic cloud computing (ECP) platform. 

The service is ambitious, but it may face problems. Immediate ones which come to mind are that in its FAQ it says "to keep the costs as low as possible the service is offered without any SLA, director support, or guarantees. We may offer support in the future." 

Another is pedigree. "SpotCloud sellers are not like Amazon or Rackspace where I can simply go ahead based on the trust I have on their brand names. I cannot do the same with the sellers in the SpotCloud ecosystem. 

Lack of transparency on sellers will be a big deterrent for many in the enterprise side," cloud analyst Krishnan Subramanian wrote. "There is also a danger of a company like Rackspace (which is increasingly moving up from infrastructure to add value) coming up with a service like SpotCloud," Krishnan wrote. 

Reuven Cohen, Chief Technology Officer and Founder of Enomaly, the parent company of SpotCloud, tweeted on Friday that "based on current SpotCloud durations @ 5000 VMs, we have roughly 87,600,000 CPU hours per month available."

Vidyo Offers Cloud-Based Videoconferencing System

Excerpted from Information Week Report by Antone Gonsalves

Vidyo has introduced an Internet-based videoconferencing architecture that can scale to tens of thousands of users on a variety of mobile devices, such as smart-phones, tablets, or laptops.

The company unveiled Tuesday the Cloud Edition of its VidyoConference architecture, making it possible to network as many VidyoRouters as are needed to meet user demand. The VidyoRouter is software that can run on any commodity hardware, such as an Intel-based, x86 server.

The company's core technology leverages the latest enhancement to the H.264 standard for video compression, called scalable video coding, in order to deliver telepresence over an Internet protocol network, whether public or private.

What's new in Cloud Edition is the ability for a large enterprise or telecom carrier to deploy routers in multiple regions, where they can handle local traffic while communicating with each other in order to reduce bandwidth and minimize network latency.

The way that is done is by stripping unnecessary data transmitting from the endpoints, Ashish Gupta, chief marketing officer for Vidyo, said in an interview. For example, if seven people in London are on a video call with seven people in New York, but only one person on each side of the Atlantic is talking, then only that data will move between routers and be delivered to

end users. Routers at the local level manage the data traffic from the end users to make sure only information that has changed is transmitted to the participating parties.

Another major feature of the latest architecture is the ability to establish secure communications between a VidyoRouter behind a corporate firewall with one on the public network, Gupta said. This protects the corporate network from intrusion while still providing video communications.

Vidyo claims its new architecture uses significantly less bandwidth on a wide area network than legacy systems, such as multiprotocol label switching (MPLS). Where 16 megabits per second of bandwidth is required to serve four users on a WAN using an MPLS, only a total of 4 Mbps of bandwidth is needed using Vidyo's technology, which would deliver the same video quality, according to Gupta.

Vidyo last week demonstrated at the Mobile World Conference in Barcelona, Spain, the use of its VidyoRouter to deliver live 4G multi-content gaming between Barcelona and the United States. The technology also was used to establish videoconferencing between passengers driving long-term evolution (LTE) equipped Audi A8 automobiles. The router delivers standard or high-definition video, depending on the available bandwidth, as well as the end user's device.

Vidyo's major competitors include Cisco, which offers high-end videoconferencing between corporate meeting rooms in different locations. The company introduced last October the consumer version of its telepresence technology, which the company calls Umi. The system comprises a video-camera and a device that sit between a broadband connection and a flat-panel TV. The equipment costs $599, plus a monthly service charge of $24.99 for unlimited calling.

Umi competes with services such as Skype, while Cisco's corporate telepresence technology competes with Vidyo. The latter company is hoping to grab share from its larger rival by delivering enterprise-level videoconferencing at a fraction of the cost. Where a Cisco system can run tens of thousands of dollars, each VidyoRouter costs about $6,000. That price doesn't change for the Cloud Edition, Gupta said.

New Company See Future in Clouds

Excerpted from News & Observer Report by Yunzhu Zhang

Two Research Triangle entrepreneurs are determined to make the Internet faster by creating a new approach to cloud computing management.

Altometrics, formed by the pair last year, aims to give cloud computing providers like Hosted Solutions and others a fast and robust tool to provide better services, said Sir Robert Burbridge, a former software engineer at Cisco who is Altometrics' Chief Executive Officer (CEO).

Cloud computing is like a rental service, providing end-users server space without requiring their knowledge of the physical location and configuration of the system. However, within the large network traffic, sometimes slowdowns happen, and it is hard to figure out the causes.

Altometrics' goal is to help cloud computing providers, such as Terremark, Hosted Solutions, and Rackspace, diagnose problems and fix them quickly and efficiently.

"We are asking the right questions about performance, which is how people are affected," said Jeff Terrell, Chief Technology Officer (CTO) of Altometrics, who received his Ph.D. in computer science from UNC-Chapel Hill and turned his doctoral dissertation work into a business.

Terrell and Burbridge first met in church in Chapel Hill, discovered their shared interests, and launched the company in May 2010.

Last year, the entrepreneurs received a $150,000 Small Business Innovation Research grant from the National Science Foundation, an independent federal agency created by Congress. The award came with $30,000 in matching funds from the N.C. Office of Science and Technology.

Terrell said getting the award has made a huge difference. Before they got the money, Terrell was working 20 hours a week as a Web programming freelancer. Burbridge, a father of three, was working full time. They both could devote only half of their time to this company.

"Now we can give all of our time and our working hours to this, and hire a third software engineer," Terrell said.

The birth of Altometrics took place with help from the Carolina Launch Pad, which offered the founders a 1,000-square-foot "class A" office space, which includes Internet access, storage space and phone, in the Europa Building on US 15-501. The program is a pre-commercial business accelerator that provides these early-stage firms prototyping, concept proving and business planning.

The launch pad is a joint effort of three entities - RENCI (Renaissance Computing Institute), UNC's Kenan-Flagler School of Business, and the Office of Technology Development - said David Knowles, director of economic development and regional engagement of RENCI.

Since their technology is new, Burbridge said, they have not yet established a relationship with cloud providers, but as they complete their research and development, they eagerly anticipate bringing products and services to market.

Coming Events of Interest

paidContent 2011: The Next Decade in Digital - March 3rd in New York, NY. The DCIA is pleased to serve as media partner for this full-day conference. DCINFO readers receive a 15% discount on registration fees by using code DCIA2011. Register now.

Cloud Connect Conference - March 8th-10th in Santa Clara, CA. Learn about all the latest cloud computing innovations in the Cloud Connect Conference - designed to serve the needs of cloud customers and operators - where you will see the latest cloud technologies and platforms and identify opportunities in the cloud.

Media Summit New York - March 9th-10th in New York, NY. This event is the premier international conference on media, broadband, advertising, television, publishing, cable, mobile, radio, magazines, news & print media, and marketing.

NAB Show - April 9th-14th in Las Vegas, NV. For more than 85 years, the NAB Show has been the essential destination for "broader-casting" professionals who share a passion for bringing content to life on any platform - even if they have to invent it. From creation to consumption, this is the place where possibilities become realities.

CONTENT IN THE CLOUD at NAB - April 11th in Las Vegas, NV. What are the latest cloud computing offerings that will have the greatest impact on the broadcasting industry? How is cloud computing being harnessed to benefit the digital distribution of television programs, movies, music, and games?

1st International Conference on Cloud Computing - May 7th-9th in Noordwijkerhout, Netherlands. This first-ever event focuses on the emerging area of cloud computing, inspired by some latest advances that concern the infrastructure, operations, and available services through the global network.

Cloud Computing Asia - May 30th - June 2nd in Singapore. Cloud services are gaining popularity among information IT users, allowing them to access applications, platforms, storage and whole segments of infrastructure over a public or private network.CCA showcases cloud-computing products and services. Learn from top industry analysts, successful cloud customers, and cloud computing experts.

Cloud Expo 2011 - June 6th-9th in New York, NY. Cloud Expo is returning to New York with more than 7,000 delegates and over 200 sponsors and exhibitors. "Cloud" has become synonymous with "computing" and "software" in two short years. Cloud Expo is the new PC Expo, Comdex, and InternetWorld of our decade.

Copyright 2008 Distributed Computing Industry Association
This page last updated March 6, 2011
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