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Blackwave Launches New Storage and Delivery Platform for Internet Video

Blackwave, an innovator in Internet video storage and delivery, today announced its first production system, the Blackwave R6. Available now the Blackwave R6 allows Content Delivery Networks (CDNs), content publishers and video aggregators to store and deliver video in multiple protocols from a single platform, significantly lowering the capital and operational costs associated with high-quality video delivery. Blackwave also announced that CDNetworks, a top-three global, full-service CDN, is the first CDN to publicly deploy the R6 system.

“Our new R6 platform dramatically simplifies the infrastructure necessary to make large libraries of video content available to massive numbers of simultaneous viewers,” said Bob Rizika, Blackwave’s President and CEO. Rizika noted that the R6 platform enables customers to deliver video via HTTP, Windows Media Server (WMS) and Flash Streaming from a single back-end.

“The Blackwave R6 marks a major step forward in video delivery infrastructure,” Rizika said. “We’ve eliminated the need to maintain dedicated storage and server implementations for each method of delivery. With the R6, service providers can now simultaneously deliver high numbers of concurrent streams in each protocol. This minimizes the infrastructure required to meet the needs of consumers desiring video in the most convenient format for their playback devices.”

A key innovation of the Blackwave R6 occurs at the disk level. Blackwave’s patent-pending intelligent software generates consistent read rates in excess of 500Mbps from a single hard disk. This represents an increase of up to 10 times the average read rate of a SATA drive. “A standard disk reading data at 50Mbps can deliver at most 50 one megabit streams, versus 500 from the same disk in a Blackwave system. This 10x performance is at the core of Blackwave’s CapEx and OpEx advantage, allowing us to deliver from half a rack of hardware volumes usually requiring several full racks,” said Mike Kilian, Blackwave’s Chief Technology Officer.

Kilian added, “Blackwave makes it possible for video publishers to generate solid-state level performance from commodity drives, which keeps costs low as demand for high-quality video grows.” While CDN bandwidth costs have declined over the last few years, infrastructure costs have remained relatively stable as more and more hardware was required to meet the increased delivery demands associated with Internet video. For a CDN, higher performance from a dense hardware footprint improves the margin on every video bit delivered. “Our CDN customers harness the cost compression traditionally associated with hard disk, keeping hardware costs low while still improving performance,” said Kilian.

CDNetworks deploys Blackwave R6 to meet increasing video delivery demand

Blackwave’s first customer deployment is with CDNetworks, a top-three global full-service CDN. CDNetworks has integrated the Blackwave system into its existing infrastructure to respond to increasing customer demand for video delivery services. “The Blackwave system has the robustness to handle the initialization of a request and expedite delivery, providing a sub-1.5 second time-to-video for the viewer,” said Michael Kuperman, Director of Global Operations for CDNetworks. “With the Blackwave R6, we are able to rapidly and cost-effectively scale our implementation of the Adobe® Flash® Media Server 3 software distribution network in support of our growing customer base.”

CDN deployments will also leverage some of the additional key features of Blackwave R6, including FTP content upload using the Blackwave Files Services Gateway, namespace virtualization and MIME type auto detection. Prior to R6, the Blackwave system required content upload via HTTP PUT. With the new version, multiple CDN customers are able to concurrently upload their content into the Blackwave system via FTP. This feature also supports customers who wish to use their Content Management system to automate the upload workflow. CDNs and video aggregators will be able to create “virtual namespaces” for each customer or content source uploading to the R6 platform. This simplifies the integration of unique management and billing tools to support multiple tenants on the same Blackwave system, a feature essential to any large scale CDN or video aggregator.

“Our early R6 deployments are proving what we’ve believed since we began development of the Blackwave platform in 2006,” said Blackwave CEO Rizika. “Our simple, purpose-built infrastructure dramatically lowers the cost of storing and delivering a deep library of content to a growing audience. In the long run, we believe that this will make it possible for publishers to profitably make more content available wherever consumers want it.”

About Blackwave

Blackwave builds storage and delivery infrastructure specifically designed to meet the unique requirements of Internet Video distribution. Integrating intelligent software with standard industry hardware, Blackwave systems dramatically reduce the cost per video streamed or downloaded, increasing the profitability of video distribution for content owners and their delivery partners. Blackwave is funded by Globespan Capital Partners, Flybridge Capital, and Sigma Partners. For more information, please visit