|By Esmeralda Swartz||
|May 6, 2014 11:00 AM EDT||
When the U.S. Appeals Court struck down the Open Internet Order's rules that prohibit Internet service providers (ISPs) from site-blocking and providing preferential service, the debate surrounding the true definition of an open and unfettered Internet reached fever pitch. Most of the large access providers in the U.S. are subsidiaries of traditional telecom carriers and cable companies. These companies fought hard for this ruling, so it is reasonable to expect that they already had their strategies in place and plans drawn up for the investments that will be needed to rebuild the Internet, or at least a part of it, according to their vision. It is about time too. Of all the technology companies that existed before the Internet, the telecom carriers and the cable companies were best-placed to take the lead in building the future. Yet in so many areas, the technical and service innovation came from new companies and organizations we had never heard of before - not from those traditional players. Phone and cable companies have never been leaders in the World Wide Web, cloud computing, social media, Voice over IP and many other areas. But now, they have changed the playing field (at least in the U.S.) to suit the game they want to play, and so, liberated from the fetters of the unfettered Internet, we have a right to expect new innovative services. With the gates opened to competitive differentiation, we're seeing interesting things, such as AT&T's $500 million joint venture with the Chernin Group to acquire, invest in and launch video-on-demand channels and streaming video services to compete with the likes of Netflix, Hulu and YouTube.
With more customers moving away from broadcast, cable or satellite TV, the opportunity to attract customers with an over-the-top (OTT) video-streaming and TV offering is significant, as is the opportunity for the right player(s) to deliver these services across multiple platforms (e.g., mobile) and distribution channels, thereby increasing revenue streams. OTT streaming services provide new players with the opportunity to deliver video content and new entertainment experiences to consumers outside traditional linear TV paths, such as cable, satellite or terrestrial. Since OTT services provide programming over the Internet and can come across the same wires as your cable TV service, the barriers to entry are greatly diminished.
It is no secret that AT&T has not been a fan of Netflix and the two are publicly quarreling over how much money the video service should pay for a direct connection to the AT&T network. It is worth noting that since the creation of the Internet, Web companies have negotiated peering and interconnection agreements where websites connect to intermediaries, which carry the traffic to ISPs, which deliver the content service to customers. Most people were not even aware of these interconnection relationships until February when Netflix agreed to pay Comcast to connect directly to its network. Though the Netflix CEO suggests that Comcast had strong-armed him into paying an "arbitrary tax," the deal ensures that Comcast customers have improved video quality for Netflix service.
Verizon has also asked Netflix to pay for a direct connection to its network, even as Verizon users (and AT&T customers, for that matter) complain of poor Netflix performance. Netflix has tried to avoid making payments, despite giving in to Comcast, and instead asked the FCC to issue net neutrality rules that "prevent ISPs from charging a toll for interconnection to services like Netflix, YouTube or Skype." Its request was rejected by the FCC when it indicated that it has no plans to expand its net neutrality rules to ensure that services like Netflix can connect to Internet providers' networks for free. In his response to Netflix, FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler asserted that the government has an important role to play in overseeing how networks connect to each other, but peering and interconnection arrangements are not a net neutrality issue under review by the Open Internet proceeding.
This is a highly charged argument for both sides. Carriers always have options when faced with growth exceeding capacity: either charge higher fees to reduce traffic or let congestion run rampant for all travelers. Unfortunately both these options have a negative customer satisfaction result and are lose-lose situations for the carrier. If the service quality for a streaming video is less than desirable, customers will get grumpy and blame their ISP for a "slow" connection. Netflix argues that "Some big [ISPs] are extracting a toll because they can-they effectively control access to millions of consumers and are willing to sacrifice the interests of their own customers to press Netflix and others to pay." Netflix is clearly upset, but video streaming has turned into a mass-market service and is a capacity hog. If Netflix and other OTT players want to use an increasingly scarce resource to carry its service at the quality levels the service dictates, who pays? There are limits that will be hit and someone will have to pay to expand the network due to growth in streaming, the growth of mobile and the coming tsunami of the Internet of Things.
Although the AT&T/Chernin deal marks the first time a big U.S. ISP has decided to go over the top with a TV service, Verizon also has plans for a streaming TV service through its acquisition of Intel Media, and has created a video streaming service by partnering with Redbox. On the broadcast side, Dish Network has also brokered a deal with Disney to stream Disney-owned channels such as ESPN and ABC over the Internet to customers' smartphones, tablets, video game consoles and other devices.
As more consumers increasingly view content on their smartphones, tablets, game consoles and connected TVs, the ability of a provider to reach across multiple platforms will unlock new monetization opportunities for a multiplatform experience.
AT&T's partnership with Chernin Group will bring a video-on-demand service to market, and presumably provide more content outside traditional broadcast options. If the content is rich enough, Comcast or Verizon FiOS TV subscribers can select the offering and put a wrench in the business of content companies.
There is an opportunity to go to market with original content that drives new customer experiences across mobile devices, social platforms and new technologies, thereby disrupting existing business models. There is a lot at stake for AT&T and it must ensure that its content is worth viewing to stand out in a crowded field of OTT providers. It would appear to be off to a good start with its Chernin partnership. The Chernin Group provides its media smarts and its majority stake in Crunchyroll, an anime streaming company, while AT&T delivers the potential for extensive distribution and access to its customer base and wireless networks.
Clearly, different and varied business models will need to be supported and monetized, whether they are advertising models similar to Google's YouTube, subscription fees like Netflix, or both advertising and subscription models like Hulu. As new partnerships and business models are envisioned, these will also have to be quickly launched and monetized at a pace not seen by carriers for traditional services.
Interested in learning more about these industry developments? Tweet us your questions!
Continuous Delivery and Release Automation for Microservices By @Anders_Wallgren | @DevOpsSummit #Microservices
As software organizations continue to invest in achieving Continuous Delivery (CD) of their applications, we see increased interest in microservices architectures, which–on the face of it–seem like a natural fit for enabling CD. In microservices (or its predecessor, “SOA”), the business functionality is decomposed into a set of independent, self-contained services that communicate with each other via an API. Each of the services has their own application release cycle, and are developed and depl...
Feb. 5, 2016 06:30 PM EST Reads: 176
With microservices, SOA and distributed architectures becoming more popular, it is becoming increasingly harder to keep track of where time is spent in a distributed application when trying to diagnose performance problems. Distributed tracing systems attempt to address this problem by following application requests across service boundaries, persisting metadata along the way that provide context for fine-grained performance monitoring.
Feb. 5, 2016 03:45 PM EST Reads: 761
The battle over bimodal IT is heating up. Now that there’s a reasonably broad consensus that Gartner’s advice about bimodal IT is deeply flawed – consensus everywhere except perhaps at Gartner – various ideas are springing up to fill the void. The bimodal problem, of course, is well understood. ‘Traditional’ or ‘slow’ IT uses hidebound, laborious processes that would only get in the way of ‘fast’ or ‘agile’ digital efforts. The result: incoherent IT strategies and shadow IT struggles that lead ...
Feb. 5, 2016 03:00 PM EST Reads: 399
[session] From Build to Scale: Lifecycle of Microservices By @fortyfivan | @CloudExpo #Microservices
More and more companies are looking to microservices as an architectural pattern for breaking apart applications into more manageable pieces so that agile teams can deliver new features quicker and more effectively. What this pattern has done more than anything to date is spark organizational transformations, setting the foundation for future application development. In practice, however, there are a number of considerations to make that go beyond simply “build, ship, and run,” which changes ho...
Feb. 5, 2016 02:00 PM EST Reads: 113
SYS-CON Events announced today that Commvault, a global leader in enterprise data protection and information management, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7–9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Commvault is a leading provider of data protection and information management...
Feb. 5, 2016 01:30 PM EST Reads: 325
SYS-CON Events announced today that AppNeta, the leader in performance insight for business-critical web applications, will exhibit and present at SYS-CON's @DevOpsSummit at Cloud Expo New York, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. AppNeta is the only application performance monitoring (APM) company to provide solutions for all applications – applications you develop internally, business-critical SaaS applications you use and the networks that deli...
Feb. 5, 2016 01:30 PM EST Reads: 306
SYS-CON Events announced today that Alert Logic, Inc., the leading provider of Security-as-a-Service solutions for the cloud, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Alert Logic, Inc., provides Security-as-a-Service for on-premises, cloud, and hybrid infrastructures, delivering deep security insight and continuous protection for customers at a lower cost than traditional security solutions. Ful...
Feb. 5, 2016 01:15 PM EST Reads: 317
If we look at slow, traditional IT and jump to the conclusion that just because we found its issues intractable before, that necessarily means we will again, then it’s time for a rethink. As a matter of fact, the world of IT has changed over the last ten years or so. We’ve been experiencing unprecedented innovation across the board – innovation in technology as well as in how people organize and accomplish tasks. Let’s take a look at three differences between today’s modern, digital context...
Feb. 5, 2016 01:00 PM EST Reads: 130
SYS-CON Events announced today that VAI, a leading ERP software provider, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. VAI (Vormittag Associates, Inc.) is a leading independent mid-market ERP software developer renowned for its flexible solutions and ability to automate critical business functions for the distribution, manufacturing, specialty retail and service sectors. An IBM Premier Business Part...
Feb. 5, 2016 12:00 PM EST Reads: 510
SYS-CON Events announced today that Catchpoint Systems, Inc., a provider of innovative web and infrastructure monitoring solutions, has been named “Silver Sponsor” of SYS-CON's DevOps Summit at 18th Cloud Expo New York, which will take place June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Catchpoint is a leading Digital Performance Analytics company that provides unparalleled insight into customer-critical services to help consistently deliver an amazing customer experience. Designed...
Feb. 5, 2016 11:00 AM EST Reads: 290
The (re?)emergence of Microservices was especially prominent in this week’s news. What are they good for? do they make sense for your application? should you take the plunge? and what do Microservices mean for your DevOps and Continuous Delivery efforts? Continue reading for more on Microservices, containers, DevOps culture, and more top news from the past week. As always, stay tuned to all the news coming from@ElectricCloud on DevOps and Continuous Delivery throughout the week and retweet/favo...
Feb. 5, 2016 10:30 AM EST Reads: 130
In most cases, it is convenient to have some human interaction with a web (micro-)service, no matter how small it is. A traditional approach would be to create an HTTP interface, where user requests will be dispatched and HTML/CSS pages must be served. This approach is indeed very traditional for a web site, but not really convenient for a web service, which is not intended to be good looking, 24x7 up and running and UX-optimized. Instead, talking to a web service in a chat-bot mode would be muc...
Feb. 5, 2016 09:15 AM EST Reads: 142
In the Bimodal model we find two areas of IT - the traditional kind where the main concern is keeping the lights on and the IT focusing on agility and speed, where everything needs to be faster. Today companies are investing in new technologies and processes to emulate their most agile competitors. Gone are the days of waterfall development and releases only every few months. Today's IT and the business it powers demands performance akin to a supercar - everything needs to be faster, every sc...
Feb. 5, 2016 08:00 AM EST Reads: 494
At the heart of the Cloud Native model is a microservices application architecture, and applying this to a telco SDN scenario offers enormous opportunity for product innovation and competitive advantage. For example in the ETSI NFV Ecosystem white paper they describe one of the product markets that SDN might address to be the Home sector. Vendors like Alcatel market SDN-based solutions for the home market, offering Home Gateways – A virtual residential gateway (vRGW) where service provider...
Feb. 5, 2016 07:00 AM EST Reads: 129
SYS-CON Events announced today that Interoute, owner-operator of one of Europe's largest networks and a global cloud services platform, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7-9, 2015 at the Javits Center in New York, New York. Interoute is the owner-operator of one of Europe's largest networks and a global cloud services platform which encompasses 12 data centers, 14 virtual data centers and 31 colocation centers, with connections to 195 ad...
Feb. 5, 2016 12:00 AM EST Reads: 304
Web performance issues and advances have been gaining a stronger presence in the headlines as people are becoming more aware of its impact on virtually every business, and 2015 was no exception. We saw a myriad of major outages this year hit some of the biggest corporations, as well as some technology integrations and other news that we IT Ops aficionados find very exciting. This past year has offered several opportunities for growth and evolution in the performance realm — even the worst failu...
Feb. 3, 2016 10:00 PM EST Reads: 530
Are you someone who knows that the number one rule in DevOps is “Don’t Panic”? Especially when it comes to making Continuous Delivery changes inside your organization? Are you someone that theorizes that if anyone implements real automation changes, the solution will instantly become antiquated and be replaced by something even more bizarre and inexplicable?
Feb. 3, 2016 06:30 PM EST Reads: 307
Welcome to the first top DevOps news roundup of 2016! At the end of last year, we saw some great predictions for 2016. While we’re excited to kick off the new year, this week’s top posts reminded us to take a second to slow down and really understand the current state of affairs. For example, do you actually know what microservices are – or aren’t? What about DevOps? Does the emphasis still fall mostly on the development side? This week’s top news definitely got the wheels turning and just migh...
Feb. 3, 2016 03:00 PM EST Reads: 282
Test automation is arguably the most important innovation to the process of QA testing in software development. The ability to automate regression testing and other repetitive test cases can significantly reduce the overall production time for even the most complex solutions. As software continues to be developed for new platforms – including mobile devices and the diverse array of endpoints that will be created during the rise of the Internet of Things - automation integration will have a huge ...
Feb. 3, 2016 02:00 PM EST Reads: 631
I recently spotted a five-year-old blog post by Mike Gualtieri of Forrester, where he suggests firing your quality assurance (QA) team to improve your quality. He got the idea from a client who actually tried and succeeded with this counterintuitive move. The thinking goes that without a QA team to cover for them, developers are more likely to take care of quality properly – or risk getting the dreaded Sunday morning wakeup call to fix something. Gualtieri’s post generated modest buzz at th...
Feb. 3, 2016 07:00 AM EST Reads: 604