A general criticism leveled against Microsoft IPTV solution is that it is too feature rich and therefore requires lots of hardware. Microsoft is solving the issue through virtualization. Microsoftâ€™s Mediaroom will be the first IPTV platform to offer virtualization support.
The benefits are as usual. However it is worth pointing out that virtualization can particularly bring benefits when the size of the deployment is small â€“ â€œactually even when itâ€™s relatively sizable such as serving around 30,000 subscribers in a large town or small city.â€ According to Microsoft, virtualization will help its IPTV customers speed time to market by up to three weeks.
Where large operators are concerned the virtualization can potentially help those looking to extend an existing service into new markets to serve lower density communities that serve up to 30,000 households. Additionally, for deployments of greater than 30,000 subscriber homes, a mix of virtualized and dedicated servers can provide the efficiency benefits.
Virtualization support in Mediaroom involves sharing the resources of a physical server â€“ things like memory, disks, CPU cycles, and so on â€“ among several â€œvirtual serversâ€. This is possible because not all the services required by a Mediaroom deployment need all the hardware resources (CPU, memory, etc) all the time. So, virtualization allows Mediaroom to optimize the use of the available resources.
Reservation Telephone Cooperative is likely to be the first service provider to deploy TV services powered by Mediaroom with virtualization. Currently, there are more than 3 million subscribers to Mediaroom-powered TV services worldwide.