Versant and Fraunhofer FOKUS Demonstrate Power of Object Databases

Increasingly, rapidly growing numbers of users want to simultaneously access the same TV programmes and channels. For this IPTV operators need technology infrastructures that can provide fast, robust and agile management of core IPTV systems. The results of a major applied research project has found that using object databases to manage IPTV delivers performance that is up to eight times faster than traditional means. The project was carried out by Berlin based Fraunhofer Institute for Open Communication Systems (Fraunhofer FOKUS) and Versant Corporation.

The two partners benchmarked the use of Versant's Object Database (VOD) within the Fraunhofer FOKUS Open IPTV ecosystem, achieving impressive results in two vital use cases compared to Oracle MySQL, a traditional relational database. Firstly, delivering complex broadband content guide (EPG) information was eight times faster when using the object database, while in the second test researchers saw a 50 per cent improvement in speed when controlling IPTV services. This translates into faster performance for consumers accessing IPTV services and an ability for content providers to cost-effectively deliver robust, scalable services using less processing power and hardware.

Following these findings the combination of Versant's Object Database and the Open IPTV ecosystem has been further trialled through two proof of concept deployments in Singapore and Taiwan run by the Open IPTV Forum and implemented by Fraunhofer FOKUS. Analysts project that the number of global IPTV subscribers will rise to 106 million by 2014, growing at an annual rate of 24 per cent. Databases are at the heart of successful IPTV systems and need to be able provide fast access to complex data, integrate with evolving application code and support the needs of potentially millions of concurrent users. As the research found, relational databases, which store data in rows and columns, are ill-suited to managing the complex data in IPTV implementations, compared to object databases which encapsulate and store all necessary information as single objects.

The FOKUS Open IPTV Ecosystem provides a complete solution for open standard and end-to-end IPTV for both managed and unmanaged networks. Developed in-line and ahead of standardisations the Open IPTV Ecosystem is the first solution on the R&D market to offer practical end-to-end implementations.

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