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November 08, 2011

Vidyo Unveils First-Ever Virtualized Video Conferencing Infrastructure

By Tammy Wolf, TMCnet Web Editor

It’s hard to imagine that only a few years ago, the video conferencing market consisted for the most part of expensive, high-end telepresence rooms and highly-latent desktop systems not suitable for business practices. However, with mobility rampant and an increased focus on productivity occurring in the enterprise, the video conferencing infrastructure is constantly being revamped.

Today, video conferencing leader Vidyo (News - Alert), the pioneer of a patented technology that enables personal telepresence anytime and anywhere via a standard Internet connection, has unveiled a breakthrough in the scalability, flexibility and affordability required to deploy video conferencing services. The company has come to market with the first-ever virtualized video conferencing infrastructure so service providers can ultimately offer unlimited multi-point scalability and low-latency rate matching in order to accelerate the adoption of high-quality, universal video conferencing on any end-point.

This new software-based platform has been designed to work above the minimum quality threshold, which is no more than 250 milliseconds, across all devices– be it mobile, desktop or telepresence systems -- in a virtualized media plane. Combining the power of a VidyoRouter, a virtual machine as well as Vidyo’s Adaptive Layering technology, service providers and enterprise companies will be able to scale video conferencing capacity on-demand and deliver error-free, efficient bandwidth utilization and real-time video optimization for high-quality video over the Internet.

Whereas traditional vendors currently utilize multi-point control units (MCUs) in order for multi-point media processing to produce multiple video streams, Vidyo’s first-ever virtualized video conference infrastructure instead requires no incremental hardware to achieve an HD video conference on more than 100 concurrent lines.

“Today’s technology announcement marks a new era of virtualized video conferencing with unprecedented scalability, flexibility, affordability and performance by abstracting the infrastructure from the physical hardware,” said Ofer Shaprio, CEO and co-founder of Vidyo, in a prepared statement. “Hardware-based solutions are not scalable and have limited capacity for multi-point video conferencing, requiring costly MCU devices that have to be pre-provisioned in data centers instead of availability on-demand.”

Prior to today’s announcement, TMCnet had the opportunity to get an inside look at Vidyo’s revolutionary virtualized video conferencing and learn from Vidyo exactly how this breakthrough technology achieves the benefits of scalability, flexibility and affordability. Ashish Gupta (News - Alert), chief marketing officer and senior vice president of Corporate Development for Vidyo, explained that because Vidyo’s virtualization abstracts infrastructure from physical hardware, enterprise users can now expand the capacity in real-time as it is needed (scalability) to operate in any environment using Amazon Web Services (News - Alert) or VMware (flexibility), allowing for millions of desktop and mobile devices to now connect in at the same price points of audio conferencing, something that many users can afford.

As an example, Gupta said that 600 simultaneous HD conference calls would require 114 proprietary servers if using an MCU, compared to only six video routers, or off-the-shelf servers intelligently running Vidyo’s software. This, in turn, equates to better cost efficiency and limited footprint in the data center.

“This is the beauty of the Vidyo architecture. Not only are we saving on the costs of the new architecture in the way of our VidyoRouter, which is not virtualized, but when you put in virtualization you can now, for personal telepresence, have immediate ROI,” Gupta told TMCnet. “From a scalability point of view, you have the whole benefit of zero hardware costs because you are using up capacity as it is available in virtualized machines. You have the flexibility to have the environment that best suits your needs, be it virtualized on-premise, or in the cloud… And affordability becomes a key level for end customers because now you can deliver video conferencing with the ability to share data and build in audio conferencing, all at the cost of what you would buy audio conferencing minutes for.

“You’re now getting a future-proof architecture for video conferencing from our company compared to what you would get from a hardware-based solution,” Gupta added.

Vidyo’s breakthrough virtualization technique is looking to lead the way for the enterprise video conferencing equipment market, which is projected to hit $5.4 billion by 2015, with over 200 million workers around the world running corporate-supplied video conferencing from their desktops, according to Gartner (News - Alert).  

 “Audio conferencing and Web conferencing had to become both scalable and affordable to become foundational collaborative tools in the enterprise market,” Hyoun Park, research analyst for Aberdeen (News - Alert) Group, exclusively told TMCnet. “With the full virtualization of multi-point video conferencing, Vidyo has now added enterprise video conferencing to that mix as an on-demand service that is scalable on the public cloud. By doing so, Vidyo has provided a solution to the emerging business concern of affordably supporting video conferencing at an enterprise-wide scale for all employees on an everyday basis.”

Tammy Wolf is a TMCnet web editor. She covers a wide range of topics, including IP communications and information technology. To read more of her articles, please visit her columnist page.

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