With Microsoft Ignite right around the corner, we realize you might want a little deeper dive into how Ramp eCDN software works with Microsoft 365 video, which includes, Microsoft Stream, Microsoft Teams, Yammer and Skype Meeting Broadcast.
We had a chance to sit down with Ramp Solution Architect and Sales Engineer Gil Mayrand to talk a little more about all things Ramp and Microsoft. Read this Q&A to get his take on everything from why organizations using Microsoft should deploy an eCDN like Ramp to what he’s planning after Microsoft Ignite.
How can Ramp help organizations using or thinking about using Microsoft 365 video (Microsoft Stream, Microsoft Teams, Yammer and/or Skype Meeting Broadcast?
GIL: Microsoft 365 video solutions are easy to use and scale, but they can really stress your network. Moving video content to the cloud means every person in your organization has to go to the cloud to get your videos. And if everyone on your network is going to the cloud to get video, you’re going to have a network capacity problem.
Video—especially the high-quality video we have come to expect—is high-bandwidth data. It uses up a lot of internet pipe, especially for live events when everyone is “tuning in” at the same time. But if you don’t have enough bandwidth or your network is already stressed, all that traffic can push the network to its limit.
Ramp specializes in solving this issue. Our eCDN software greatly reduces the number of video streams you pull down from the cloud by bringing the video inside of your network and making it available internally to your viewers. Although both of our solutions are designed to solve network congestion at the infrastructure level, they work in very different ways.
Basically, Multicast+ takes live video from Microsoft Stream or Skype Meeting Broadcast and distributes a single stream for all viewers to share. It’s one of the most effective ways to distribute video because regardless of the number of people watching the video, the amount of data traveling the network remains consistent. It’s much like your broadcast television. The video is there all the time, all you need to do is turn on the TV and tune in.
OmniCache works a little differently by bringing both live and on-demand videos closer to viewers. You deploy OmniCache software on servers that are close to groups of viewers. When the first person requests the video, it pulls it from the Microsoft cloud and stores a copy. The next time a person in the same location wants to watch that video, he/she gets it from the local cache.
How does Ramp work with Microsoft 365 video?
GIL: One of the greatest benefits of how Ramp works with Microsoft 365 video is it is seamless. We are an integrated partner for Microsoft, and both Multicast+ and OmniCache are fully integrated with Microsoft Stream.
You don’t have to involve people to reroute DNS or make any special network configurations. Basically, you install the Ramp software, you configure the Microsoft Stream environment to use Ramp—literally check a box—and it kind of just happens magically in the background. It doesn’t affect the users in any way. And there’s a lot less involvement from an architecture standpoint with your networking team. The solution just goes in quite easily and elegantly.
How do I know if I should use Multicast+ or OmniCache?
GIL: The decision of when to use Multicast+ or OmniCache really comes down to your network and how you use video within your organization. If you’re coming from a multicast solution, say an end-of-life solution like Windows Media Server, and you know that multicast is already enabled, it’s a very simple choice. Multicast+ is the most efficient way to deliver live video.
If you’re not sure if you have a multicast-enabled network, you plan to do both live and video on demand, or maybe you’re not sure if your network team is going to be on board because it might take resources away from other projects, OmniCache is probably the best bet for you. We can easily deploy on a network that isn’t multicast enabled to deliver those unicast streams and move video as close to the edge as possible for the user.
How you configure your eCDN network is really on a case-by-case basis and depends on the current configuration of your network…don’t worry, I can help you figure it out.
We’ll no doubt be busy in the booth at Microsoft Ignite. What’s your plan for rest and relaxation after the event?
GIL: I’m Going to Disney World!
Literally I plan to spend Friday through Sunday at Disney and am really excited to see the new Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge area at Hollywood Studios. For a geek like me, it does not get any more exciting than an immersion into a galaxy far, far away.