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Microsoft eCDN Service Now Available for Video Streaming Needs

Microsoft has released an new "standalone" eCDN (Enterprise Content Delivery Network) product, which aims to optimize live video streaming in organizations, per a Wednesday announcement.

The eCDN service can be used for things like company-wide video meetings with employees around the world. The service is said to reduce network bandwidth loads while also ensuring security.

Bandwidth demands on corporate networks get lowered because eCDN leverages peer-to-peer device connections to distribute the content, rather than fetching it from across the Internet. The service uses technology Microsoft acquired when it bought Peer5, as announced last year.

Peer5 has described its "dynamic mesh networks" technology as being based on the Web Real-Time Communication (WebRTC) HTML5 protocol, originally fostered by Google, which lets browsers share content without requiring a plug-in. Peer5 technology typically leverages an organization's local area network to deliver the content, instead of fetching it from a service provider. Peer5, prior to Microsoft's acquisition, had also used the eCDN name to refer to its technologies.

Microsoft provides "advanced analytics tools" with its eCDN service. No installation is required on devices to use the service, "nor are any changes required to the physical network infrastructure." Microsoft also indicated that the service supports "Office 365 compliance" when it comes to securing video content.

The eCDN product works with Microsoft Teams Live Events video streaming. It also works with "any third party [non-Microsoft] video platform that is HLS-based (HTTP Live Streaming)," the announcement indicated. HLS is an "adaptive bitrate streaming communications protocol" that was developed by Apple. It's widely used with browsers, mobile devices and streaming media servers, according to a Wikipedia description.

The new eCDN standalone service is currently available "through volume licensing, direct from Microsoft through the Microsoft 365 IT Admin Center or through a variety of Microsoft Cloud Partners," the announcement indicated.

Microsoft is charging "$0.50 per user per month with an annual subscription" to use the eCDN service.

About the Author

Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for 1105 Media's Converge360 group.

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