Integrated delivery

Introduction

 

THRON is the omnichannel media library for all your CMS instruments. Thanks to its integrated delivery you can optimize content management between channels and maximize the consistency of your brand.

Upload documents, images, photo galleries, videos, audio files, live streaming content and forget compatibility issues with multiple devices.

THRON automatically adapts the content so that it is ready for being reproduced from any type of device and anywhere in the world, streaming it directly from the platform, without any duplication.

 

THRON Content Delivery Network

THRON is designed to create, store, manage and use digital content. In order to achieve optimal performance and reliability, it leverages distributed architecture over a cloud computing infrastructure, providing several “nodes”. Each one of these nodes is capable of managing user requests such as watching a multimedia content.

A Content Delivery Network (CDN) is a network providing nodes, often referred to as "Points of Presence" (POP), which cache content remotely and allow content to be delivered by those nodes closer to the end user, preventing packets from travelling all the way to the origin servers.

THRON delivery is enhanced by using an integrated CDN, and its acceleration is used both for multimedia content (like video/audio) and static content (like documents/images).

Let's consider the toughest scenario in terms of amount of data to be transferred, hence potential waiting time for end-users. This happens when video content is delivered via progressive download in HD quality. In this scenario, video quality (bit rate) doesn't follow user bandwidth capacity and the risk of long buffering time is at its highest.

This article explains how measurements have been taken and provides analysis results.

 

Performance

Performance measurements can be taken in many ways. Most of them focus on analyzing maximum server throughput by measuring performance within the same node/cluster/network or by using powerful internet data centers. Those measurements are usually applied to identifying maximum theoretical performance and ignoring real user infrastructure because it creates a bottleneck.

A different method for measuring performance is to focus on what real users will experience on their devices when visiting websites/projects, obtaining Real User Monitoring (RUM). In order to obtain RUM, we use a standard browser (Google Chrome) that runs in a Catchpoint node. A Catchpoint node is a standard PC connected to a standard connection opening a specific web page.

We don't need any special plugin to obtain data because we exploit common javascript events in order to understand:

  • when the page has been loaded,
  • when the player has started playback,
  • when the player has ended playback.

Since some javascript efforts (loading times) are necessary in order to obtain those data, empiric tests demonstrate that we can consider 500 ms of overload while evaluating the total amount of time spent before video playback and after its conclusion.

For this test we used a video with a duration of 26.8 seconds. We forced the THRON player to use the HD version of the content which has a bitrate of 2 Mbps and the Progressive Download HTML5 Technology. Progressive download with HD quality represents the toughest scenario for the end-user, since the bit rate cannot dynamically adapt to bandwidth capacity as happens on HTTP Streaming technology.

Each test has been grouped by geographical region and city.

To provide a readable result set, only average values are provided. Values variance (deviation from average) was very low anyway.

 

Results are provided in the following table after a brief description of the table’s columns.

  • City: the city where the measurement has been taken.
  • TTPB: Time to Playback, which defines the delay time from the loading of the webpage to the player "playback started" event. The webpage only contains a THRON Player embed code. The browser needs network time to download resources and some additional time to run the javascript code and "render" the player. When the player launches the "playback started" event, the playback is started and the user is watching the video. The lower this value, the earlier the user can start watching the video.
  • TTC: Time To Complete, which defines the delay time from the "playback started" event to the "playback ends" event. The video duration is 26.837 ms. The closer this value is to the video duration, the smoother the playback of the content.
  • % Delay: the ratio between time spent watching the video and the actual content duration. Empiric tests show that delay lower than 4% is not perceptible to human viewing of the content, so it means no interruptions.

City

TTPB [ms]

TTC [ms]

% Delay

Beijing - China

2,500

27,988

2.33

Berlin - Germany

830

27,149

0.00

Bloomfield - New Jersey

1,436

27,521

0.79

Buenos Aires - Argentina

1,719

27,022

0.00

Hangzhou - China

2,019

28,039

2.47

London - UK

1,014

27,607

0.98

Los Angeles - California

1,492

27,543

0.92

Madrid - Spain

1,015

27,030

0.00

Melbourne - Australia

2,921

27,108

0.00

Moscow - Russia

1,142

27,238

0.11

Paris - France

969

27,312

0.14

Qingdao - China

2,084

28,273

3.31

Redmond - Washington

2,120

27,148

0.05

Rio De Janeiro - Brasil

2,563

27,550

0.77

Riyadh - Saudi Arabia

1,676

27,411

0.29

Rome - Italy

956

27,231

0.29

Sydney - Australia

2,113

27,418

0.74

Singapore

2,188

27,079

0.00

Stockholm - Sweden

973

27,472

0.54

Tokyo - Japan

1,630

27,076

0.00

Vancouver - Canada

1,791

27,033

0.00

 

Using THRON CDN provides top performance for worldwide content distribution with HD quality.

Video playback is the most complex delivery case, so we can assume every content delivery (documents, images, audios) will achieve the same or better results.

 

China delivery

THRON offers a specific extension to have CDN acceleration for a specific set of resources and web services on China domains within the “Great Firewall of China”.

A lot of companies communicate in the Chinese territory with dedicated websites. Such websites include exclusive content for the Chinese market that has to be accelerated to guarantee high performance; hence they need all the web services used to list and deliver such content to be accelerated.

Content is the heaviest part of a website. Some companies might have a website hosted outside China, without an ICP license.

Such companies want all the multimedia content to be accelerated, even in China, to greatly improve website performance even if they are not hosting the website in China.

Due to a strict regulation in the Chinese territory, a local Delivery Network is required in order to guarantee high delivery performance in this area. To ensure optimal performance also for Chinese users, the “Additional China Delivery” module enables a specific delivery network for the Chinese area.

Given the regulations in China, in order to deliver content within the Chinese territory you usually must request activation of an ICP license. Through this module, customers will not have to make any requests since content delivery will exploit the THRON ICP licence regularly registered with the Chinese authorities.

 

When creating a new share (embed code or view-share) for a content within the shareboard, the user will be able to specify if China delivery has to be enabled for that specific share.

If this flag is enabled:

  • View-share will be delivered via the “-share.thron.cn” domain
  • Player’s bootstrap (the .js file that triggers Player’s embed) will be delivered via the “-cdn.thron.cn” domain
  • Internal web services and descriptors used by the Player to deliver the content will be invoked via the “thron.cn” domain

 

IMPORTANT: Enabling a share for China Delivery does not mean that it will work only within China's territory and not WorldWide. The share will be accelerated both WorldWide and within the Chinese territory.

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