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Concurrent Targets Transparent Caching Market

Expanding into a market populated by vendors such as Qwilt and PeerApp, Concurrent Computer Corp. has expanded into the world of transparent caching, a move that could help its service provider partners improve the performance of video that’s delivered over-the-top.

Unlike single-purpose edge caching systems such as the appliance used by Netflix for its Open Connect initiative, content-agnostic transparent caches use analytics and algorithms to place content, whether it’s from Netflix, Amazon, YouTube or another source, at the edge of the network based on its relative popularity. Placing that content closer to the end user typically results in less congestion while also cutting down transport costs.

In addition to helping service providers reduce costs by first implementing a “classic” transparent, Concurrent believes its approach will also position its partners to support value-added services and participate in the OTT value chain, said Jim Brickmeier, Concurrent’s SVP of strategic marketing.

Potential network neutrality implications aside, that might also give service providers the ability to accelerate the delivery of traditionally unmanaged content and provide the kind of guaranteed quality of service they already do with on-net services.

“We’re providing a mechanism as service providers work out what level of flexibility they have…based on the policies they want to adopt,” Brickmeier said, noting that transparent caching systems such as Concurrent’s could represent a technical “first step” toward the creation of QoS-related commercial arrangements between service providers and OTT video suppliers.

Under Concurrent’s plan, it will market its software-based  transparent caching product to new customers and offer it as an additional, upgraded feature to existing customers that use Concurrent’s existing portfolio of video servers and content delivery systems for IP-content delivery networks and CDN-assisted VOD platforms.

Some of Concurrent’s existing service provider partners include Time Warner Cable, Cox Communications, Charter Communications, Japan’s J:COM, Kabel Deutschland in Germany, and NOS of Portugal.

Concurrent expects its transparent caching approach to enter trials later this year, and move toward deployments during the first half of 2015, Brickmeier said.