Brightcove’s Outage is a CDN’s Gain


Timing is everything in life, especially in technology. On September 16th, Brightcove won the prestigious 2014 Frost & Sullivan award for Global Market Leadership for Online Video Platform. Three days later, Brightcove experienced a massive outage, and their platform was unavailable for a few hours. Talk about bad timing. We yet have to find out the details of the outage from Brightcove, but as Rayburn stated, the “outage is a lesson for other vendors in how NOT to manage an outage. Zero communication, No ETA. Not pro-active. Really bad.” There is going to be some impact to the Brightcove brand, but they’ll recover just like Apple and Limelight.

Brightcove’s Outage is a Media CDNs Gain

Brightcove’s customers are the who’s who of media: Viacom, Discovery, Showtime, AMC, and many more. For those customers that experienced video streaming failure due to the Brightcove outage, now have a decision to make about a backup plan, in case this occurs again. Unfortunately, the multi-OVP strategy doesn’t work like the multi-CDN strategy. Using multi-OVPs is analogous to using SAP and Oracle E-Business for the same ERP system. OVP customers have a couple of choices available to them. First, they can build a mini video content management system in-house from open source software, and do the transcoding themselves. Then, use internal video management system as the backup to Brightcove. However, this option is too much work, and too expensive.

The next option is to use Brightcove as the primary, and a Media Delivery CDN as the backup, and divide the streaming load by percentage, where Brightcove gets 75% of the traffic, and the Media CDN gets 25%. The Media Delivery CDNs have an extensive video ecosystem where they can ingest a single mezzanine file/native stream, transcode it into different renditions, prepare it for the various platforms, store it (VOD), secure it, and delivery it. The next time Brightcove suffers an outage, customers can switch 100% of their video to the Media Delivery CDN for video delivery. Who are the Media Delivery CDN players: Akamai, Level 3, EdgeCast and Limelight Networks.

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