Intel® Xeon® Processor Technology and Intel® Solid-State Drives

Version 2

    TV viewers have come to expect a web-like experience for TV programs—they want to watch their favourite programs on their own schedule. To meet this shift in customer expectations, Cable MSO and Telecommunications operators are rolling out Time-Shifted TV services for their subscribers using powerful video-on-demand platforms such as Espial MediaBase*. Time-Shifted TV is an especially demanding application as it requires high-performance servers with powerful processors, disk drives, and network cards to support real-time video capture and streaming.






    Intel partnered with Espial to evaluate the throughput improvement possible with Intel® Xeon® processor 5500 series-based platforms coupled with Intel® Solid-State Drives (SSDs) for both standard and high-definition video streaming. Espial tested the Intel® X25M-80 GB high-performance SSDs as an alternative to hard disk drives (HDDs) or DRAM typically used to store and stream the video files. The evaluation compared Intel® Xeon® processor 5400 series-based servers with HDDs to next generation Intel® Xeon® processor 5500 seriesbased servers with Intel SSDs. The evaluation was conducted during Q4 2008 at Espial labs using Espial MediaBase; an intelligent, on-demand video platform. Using eight SSD drives, the test system demonstrated that it could deliver 2,400 SD streams. This would support up to 24,000 subscribers with a maximum simultaneous play out of 10 percent. The 9 Gbps of network throughput placed less than a 20% CPU utilisation load on the test system.






    In summary, next generation Intel components provide advantageous cost performance that is essential for service providers to roll out Time-Shifted TV services while containing operational and capital expenditures.




    More detailed findings from the evaluation are published in this paper.