Technology Disney +: telecom operators ready to face the wave

Disney +: telecom operators ready to face the wave

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Posted on Apr 6, 2020, 6:44 p.m.Updated on Apr 6, 2020 at 7:23 p.m.

Will Darth Vader and the Snow Queen bring down the Internet on Tuesday? The answer is no, say telecom operators. Three-color networks ready for launch of Disney +, the media giant’s streaming service, postponed by two weeks“At the request of the French government”.

The dreaded scenario of the authorities was however that of a saturation of the networks, very requested since the beginning of the confinement. Several other bandwidth-hungry video services – such as Netflix and YouTube – have reduced the definition of images to reduce pressure.

Overplayed risk

This agitation has puzzled many experts. “Operators have wide interconnections to anticipate traffic increases. They have overcome this risk with politicians. To say that we risk saturation on the fixed line, that makes network technicians leap ”, asserts Nicolas Guillaume, secretary general of AOTA (Association of alternative telecoms operators).

At the end of 2018, incoming traffic to the four major three-color operators reached 14.3 Tb / s – around three times less than the installed capacity – according to the latest report on the state of the Internet from Arcep. This traffic naturally increases, of the order of 15 to 20% per year, and operators add fibers to preserve their room for maneuver.

So why did you request a postponement of the launch of Disney +? Was it to harm a service that encroaches on operators’ content offers? In Orange, we deny it. And it is explained that the distribution strategy chosen by Disney made the launch complex to manage.

The CDN strategy

While Netflix or Twitter themselves host copies of their most requested content in France, this is not the case for Disney. It relies on specialized intermediaries, CDNs (“content delivery networks”) such as Akamai, Fastly, Limelight… which have their own buffer servers worldwide and rent them on demand. Then instructs French operators to recover this traffic, at the various interconnection points in Europe.

“These are extremely large volumes. We are talking about several terabytes of data, explains Jean-Luc Vuillemin, Director of Orange Networks and International Services. It is necessary to know where this traffic arrives, to reserve interconnection capacities and to ensure our capacity to bring it from the delivery point to the point of use. This work had been anticipated. But with the coronavirus crisis, the interconnection capacities with the CDNs were filled up extremely quickly. On some, we had gone up to more than 90% of use. “

To avoid traffic jams, operators have beefed up these interconnections and rebuilt the Disney + data landing and transit scheme. Thanks to the postponement of fifteen days, no more worries. “Hakuna Matata”, as the Lion King sings.

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