Friday, January 22, 2010

Out Of The Mix

News reaches me that Global Mix has put its CDN business into liquidation, but aims to persevere with its services business.

This is a shame since Global Mix was one of the few smaller CDNs that had a differentiator (Narrowstep had a sophisticated VMS and CacheLogic/Velocix had its 'server side P2P' system).

GlobalMix's emphasis was on multicasting - a technology that will still have its day. Basically, mutlicasting involves sending one stream to many people over IP ( a bit like traditional broadcasting) rather than sending one stream to every viewer. The cost savings are obvious all around, but the technology only really works for simulcast - where everyone is watching the same stream at the same time - and does not work on most current networks, which use IPv4 rather than the more advanced IPv6. However, more and more networks such as Virgin's and BT's C21 will support IPv6, as do most domestic routers and equipment now.

But the market is limited and companies further up the value chain such as Level3 are now targeting the simulcast market. Delivery of video on IP is a commodity and differentiating is tougher than ever..