Vidyo's Next Move: Virtualizing Video Conferencing

Vidyo, a fast-growing startup in the video conferencing space, uses Adaptive Video Layering (AVL) technology to optimize video quality for each participant's environment, with only general data networks and the Internet needed for connectivity. It's made several major additions to its Vidyo platform this year, including VidyoPanorama this past summer. But with its latest update, Vidyo is virtualizing the media plane to enable far greater flexibility and scalability for its software platform using virtual machines -- likening, for video conferencing, what VMware's compute-plane virtualization does for a data center.

"The media plane hasn't yet been virtualized," said Ashish Gupta, Vidyo's chief marketing officer. "Virtualization offers ten times better density, at lower cost, with better quality, at lower power."

Virtualization will allow videoconferencing users to more flexibly scale depending on real-time -- not estimated -- usage, Gupta said. The difference between Vidyo's offering and other video conferencing solutions involving virtualization is that Vidyo is virtualizing the media plane, not just the control plane.

Compared with more traditional videoconferencing infrastructure deployed globally, overall costs with a virtualized Vidyo system could be as low as 3 percent of what businesses would otherwise be paying for infrastructure and service, Gupta said.

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"If you're in the U.S. and you have callers coming in from India, you can bring up, in real time, a VidyoRouter in India to meet the traffic and the needs of the localized customers there," he explained.

"It allows for not just the traditional A/V or videoconferencing resellers, but now it attracts the data resellers and service providers," added Jim Fairweather, vice president, worldwide channels at Vidyo. "Everybody wants to do something with cloud, and it fits perfectly into that strategy with minimal investment."

Vidyo's growth streak in 2011 includes a recent, $22.5 million Series D round of venture capital funding. The company has closed about $96 million in total financing since its founding in 2005.

"The reason our VARs are exciting is because they've got large enterprises that have crossed the chasm on virtualization," Gupta said. "They've got it installed and they've got virtual machines all over the place. This is opening up a whole new model for video."