NS1, a leader in next generation DNS and application traffic management solutions, announced new enhancements to its Pulsar Active Traffic Steering solution. New features and integrations improve how customers measure, orchestrate, and analyze application traffic, and enable support for complex use cases, such as media streaming.
Global demand for video streaming is exploding. Studies show that by 2022, 82% of application traffic will be video. Behind these premium digital experiences is a complex and often unreliable tangle of infrastructure — multiple clouds, content delivery networks (CDNs), and edge computing architecture.
IT teams are challenged to efficiently orchestrate traffic across this dynamic, distributed network topology in a way that ensures optimal end-user experiences while controlling costs, meeting service level agreements, and efficiently managing resources.
“When it comes to delivering modern applications and digital content, the demand for intelligent, data-driven traffic management capabilities provided through NS1’s Pulsar cannot be overstated.
“While similar technologies, such as Citrix ITM (formerly Cedexis), have been absorbed into the stacks of larger firms and deprioritized, NS1 continues to aggressively innovate in this space to solve customer problems,” said Kris Beevers, co-founder and CEO of NS1.
“In the last year, we have expanded our data science team, which works diligently on advanced traffic analysis strategies and frameworks. New integrations and routing features make Pulsar an ideal tool for right-sizing infrastructure to meet demand while controlling costs.”
Unlike traditional solutions that rely exclusively on static traffic routing techniques, such as geotargeting, Pulsar ingests billions of data points on network conditions from real users, CDNs, load balancers, and custom data sources.
Because it integrates directly with NS1’s next-generation traffic management platform and powerful Filter Chain, Pulsar makes it easy to create traffic management policies that ingest real-time data within the context of business requirements to ensure companies deliver the best end-user experiences possible while effectively managing the underlying costs of delivery.
Expanded functionality to support media streaming with Mux Data
Pulsar’s functionality includes support for the unique needs of media streaming use cases. Pulsar’s streaming support is manifest independent at the DNS level and compatible with every streaming client and platform.
Pulsar active traffic steering decisions can also now be accessed via HTTP API, in addition to DNS lookups, enabling use cases like CDN switching for live streaming sessions and active traffic steering for non-DNS-based applications.
Other advanced routing features, such as content geo-IP restriction, simplify licensing enforcement by enabling video streaming companies to restrict content to regions based on licensing.
NS1 also now integrates with Mux Data’s best-in-class video streaming quality of experience metrics, which include real-time data about playback failures, startup times, rebuffering, and video quality.
By collecting and ingesting these video performance metrics from end-users, along with real user monitoring (RUM) and network data, Pulsar delivers the most intelligent routing decisions possible.
“Our clients are at the forefront of the massive growth in video streaming, and are looking for tools that help them deliver as close to a flawless performance as possible while managing the economics and complexity of global expansion,” said Cyril Duprat, director of business development at Mux.
“With Mux Data and Pulsar, media companies and broadcasters can leverage Quality of Experience (QoE) data to optimize content delivery by making smarter traffic routing decisions across their global network, more effectively utilizing resources, eliminating single points of failure — and deliver an amazing viewing experience to demanding audiences.”
Orchestrating traffic efficiently and economically
Other new enhancements support NS1’s commitment to providing customers with tools that make it easy to modernize and manage application traffic across complex, distributed infrastructure.
New data sources — Pulsar is now compatible with any data source necessary to support active traffic steering, including real-time community data from internet, cloud, and CDN sources; custom data from internal networks and “bring-your-own” sources; and quality of experience metrics from all major platforms.
NS1’s application traffic platform also integrates with global server load balancers to effectively manage workloads across resources.
Pulsar stabilization — Customers can now optimize traffic performance while keeping the distribution of traffic as stable as possible versus the rapid switching, or flapping, that can occur with traditional performance-based routing.
No-code configuration — Point-and-click configuration provides an easy-to-use policy engine to automate traffic steering without any programming.
Hyper-granular steering — Advanced customers with data science teams can push their own hyper-granular steering policies to Pulsar based on their own data to guarantee the best traffic routing decisions for the most advanced use cases.
New visualizations — Pulsar provides detailed analysis of traffic routing decisions so that teams can demonstrate Pulsar’s positive impact on application performance and better manage networking vendors.
“There is a growing demand for technologies that bring control and performance improvements to the critical points of leverage within the modern application stack.
“With the consolidation that’s taken place in the market, there is always the risk that research and development investment will be stifled and progress hindered for companies that demand high performance and an always-on environment,” said Eric Hanselman, chief analyst at 451 Research.
“It is great to see an independent vendor like NS1 innovating in the underlying technologies that have become crucial to modern application delivery.”
Customers gain immediate value from NS1’s leadership in advanced traffic management capabilities. Maintaining exceptional performance across globally distributed infrastructure is critical for NS1 customers like Amplience, a leading dynamic content delivery platform.
Even minimal latency can impact the company’s brand and ability to meet customer service level agreements.
“When the solution we were using for application traffic steering was acquired, we saw an almost immediate change in the quality of customer support and their commitment to innovation,” said Mike Carrington, vice president of operations at Amplience.
“We moved to NS1’s Pulsar because it is a powerful tool that enables us to orchestrate our traffic in the most efficient and economical way possible and helps to ensure we deliver high availability for our customers.”