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TMCNet:  Chelsio Launches Stream Engine

[December 09, 2012]

Chelsio Launches Stream Engine

Dec 10, 2012 (Close-Up Media via COMTEX) -- Chelsio Communications, a provider of 10Gb Ethernet Unified Wire Adapters, ASICs and Unified Storage software solutions, announced a media streaming enhancement to its T4 Unified Wire adapters targeted at high performance content delivery applications.

According to a release, the Chelsio StreamEngine adds video segmentation offload and per-stream rate limiting functionality to the TCP and UDP offload capabilities of the T4 Unified Wire adapters to significantly reduce CPU utilization, increase video and content delivery capacity and enhance service quality.

Built to accelerate and smooth media streaming and other high throughput applications, the Chelsio StreamEngine delivers performance for Content Delivery Network (CDN), IPTV and Video on Demand (VOD) providers (StreamEngine Product Brief).

"Media service providers are faced with new and pressing challenges such as how to differentiate their media delivery offerings by delivering more personal, social, and interactive media experiences, making media delivery simpler and more friendly in a video delivery model that is fragmented across devices, screens, and interfaces, and preserving the value of their content while delivering to new screens and platforms," said Saqib Jang, Principal and Founder, Margalla Communications. "The Chelsio StreamEngine enables providers to address such challenges while optimizing scalability and return on investment." A typical customer installation can do 2,000 streams per dual-socket server by running the protocol in software. In comparison with StreamEngine, a single T4 adapter can deliver more than 32,000 streams using a single server enabling a smaller, less costly, lower power solution while delivering much higher performance and capacity.

Tailored for video content, the Company said the StreamEngine segmentation offload technology moves the processing required to packetize video data and control its transmission rate from the server to the network adapter. Video Segmentation Offload (VSO) increases performance and minimizes CPU overhead, allowing significantly higher capacity using the same server hardware. Without VSO support, video server software needs to packetize payload into frames, process each frame individually through the network stack and schedule individual frame transmission, resulting in millions of system calls and packet traversal through all protocol layers in the operating system to the network adapter.

In contrast, StreamEngine implements the full network protocol stack in the T4 adapter, and the video server software simply hands off unprocessed video payload in I/O buffers to the StreamEngine middleware, which handles the rest. By taking over these CPU intensive tasks from the host server, StreamEngine enables low cost servers to handle tens of thousands of streams.

Rate Shaping within the StreamEngine allows Content Delivery Networks/Video On Demand providers to avoid receive buffer overflows, smooth out network traffic, and enforce Service Level Agreements (SLAs). Without dedicated hardware-based rate shaping or limiting support, the video server must perform rate limiting in software, a CPU intensive task that can be prohibitive at 10Gb and higher rates.

Chelsio noted that its StreamEngine implements per-stream rate shaping in the T4 device, offloading the video server software and drastically reducing CPU utilization, while increasing the shaping precision and minimizing the jitter of the frames sent onto the network. It can shape traffic on a per-packet or per-byte basis for arbitrary flow or class, where a class is a random grouping of either offloaded or non-offloaded flows.

StreamEngine supports up to 16 shaping rates or traffic classes per channel (port), and an arbitrary number of video streams can be assigned to each class. In conjunction with VSO, this enables the video server software to push large amounts of payload to the StreamEngine at a time; StreamEngine then segments and schedules the transmission of the resulting frames onto the network as specified by the associated Traffic Class.

Chelsio is a technology company focusing on solving networking and storage challenges.

More information: www.chelsio.com ((Comments on this story may be sent to newsdesk@closeupmedia.com))

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