P2P in live streaming explained

P2P, Explained

Video has become more prominent in day-to-day business operations due to the rise of remote and hybrid workforces and the need for online training programs and company-wide all-hands meetings or announcements continues to grow. When it comes to video delivery and video streaming over the internet, one of the most important factors to consider is the condition of the network and whether it can support multiple users all requesting content at the same time. 

Thankfully, there are ways to reduce the network strain when sharing or streaming content and one is through Peer-to-Peer, or P2P, networking. So what is P2P, who uses it, and what are some of its key benefits? Keep reading this post to find out!  

What is P2P and How Does it Work?

P2P is a type of content delivery technology that shares data files and delivers streams to a group made up of users, also known as “peers”, instead of single individuals requesting content from a central server concurrently. Too many requests being made to a single server can cause packets of data to be lost during delivery leading to poor quality and delays. Content is stored, or cached, on individual devices so that it can be shared among a local group of peers with very little network congestion. A single peer acts as both a client and a server, enabling content to be both downloaded and uploaded by end users who are accessing it at the same time.

One of the key advantages of using peer-to-peer networking is to conserve network bandwidth and get content to stakeholders in the most effective way possible. P2P also requires almost no infrastructure meaning there’s no need to manage and deploy client hardware or software, making it a cost-effective alternative for organizations. There are many use cases for P2P but it has become particularly attractive to enterprise organizations, especially in the past few years. 

P2P for Enterprise

Enterprise organizations can leverage P2P video streaming to securely reach their regional sites and remote employees without overwhelming their private Local Area Network, or LAN. Enterprise Content Delivery Network, or eCDN, functions much the same as a CDN but is private and not accessible to anyone outside the organization and can also leverage P2P networking to improve bandwidth efficiency. There are other types of eCDN technologies in addition to P2P, multicast and IPTV and caching, and you can read more about them in this post. 

An eCDN with P2P networking can significantly reduce an organization’s LAN bandwidth, especially for situations where unicast or IPTV streams are not possible, such as reaching local branch offices and remote workers. The reduced use of bandwidth is important because companies can’t afford to use all of their network bandwidth on video streams and a slow network could lead to crashes or affect employee collaboration and overall productivity.  

Even before the global pandemic, there was a need for organizations to hold all-hands meetings for important company-wide announcements as part of a P2P group instead of each user accessing the stream from a LAN-based server and across the internet independently. This helps to keep all employees informed and up-to-date with any important announcements or to hold training sessions for multiple employees at the same time. With the recent shift to remote and hybrid workflows, video has become an even more important part of keeping employees informed and fully trained. If several employees are streaming content all at the same time, the network can become clogged with requests, impacting the quality of video streams and overall network performance. With P2P networking, individual users can be added to an eCDN’s infrastructure and share the burden. 

Haivision Media Platform for P2P Content Delivery

Haivision Media Platform, the Emmy®-Award-winning enterprise video and IPTV platform, features secure P2P which expands the reach of HMP-enabled eCDNs and reduces the stress of video delivery on a company’s IP network. HMP’s P2P feature enables live and on-demand video to reach all employees, whether they’re in the office or working remotely, without overwhelming the organization’s network while respecting its security measures.  

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New Mission-Critical Visual Collaboration Platform – Haivision Command 360
New Mission-Critical Visual Collaboration Platform – Haivision Command 360