Sun Expands its Video Streaming System

At the NAB show in Las Vegas earlier this month, Sun Microsystems
announced that it is expanding its Sun Streaming System product
portfolio to create what it claims is the only IPTV platform that can
scale "seamlessly and cost-effectively" from 100 to 160,000
simultaneous streams.
The portfolio's Sun Fire X4950 Streaming
Switch has been joined by new server and storage platforms for small
to mid-scale streaming of television and IP-based video; and Sun has
also launched Release 2 of its Sun Streaming Software, which it claims
leverages the Solaris 10 Operating System to enable customers to scale
economically from 500 to over 1.5 million subscribers and from 200 to
over a million hours of content.

According to Sun, the launch of the new platforms means that Sun
Streaming System customers can now configure and grow very diverse
deployments and service offerings with a single software framework
running on "the right-sized servers, storage and networking" from 1U
to 14U. This, it says, simplifies deployment planning and network
management, and also prevents service disruptions as deployments
grow. "The Sun Streaming System is the only streaming product family
on the market today to offer customers both disruptive economics and
non-disruptive growth at nearly any scale point--giving customers the
ability to evolve their networks and services without the pain of major
retrofits or integrations," Graham Lovell, Sun's senior director of
storage servers and IPTV, said in a prepared statement. "Sun's
innovation makes us uniquely positioned to serve the needs of IPTV
service providers and bring consumers the latest video technologies
such as personalized video and social networking."

According to Sun, the Sun Streaming System includes the 1U Sun Fire
X4150 server, which is powered by Quad-Core Intel Xeon processors;
the 4U Sun Fire X4600 M2 server, which is powered by AMD Opteron
processors; and the Sun StorageTek 2530 Array. Later this year, the
company says, its Sun Streaming Software will also support carrier-
grade Netra x64 servers, Netra ATCA x64 blade servers, and the option
of Sun's own flash-based storage technology. According to the
company, these new server and storage options offer service providers
"the maximum flexibility to independently scale streaming capacity,
content capacity, ingest rates and degree of user interactivity as the
needs of the subscribers evolve."

Sun says it is collaborating with a number of partners, including Nortel,
EDS and TechMahindra, to offer end-to-end video delivery solutions
based on the Sun Streaming System. In addition, it says that it has
extended its relationship with Harris to combine the system with the
latter's video technologies and scheduling software, and that it has also
integrated it with Tandberg Television's OpenStream Digital Services