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Brian Johnston, QTS Chief Technology Officer May 25, 2017

Cord Cutting: Driving The Need for Hyperscale Speed

A new term has been showing up in the news, water cooler conversations and online lately: cutting the cord. As millennials drive the movement away from traditional cable and satellite providers, more and more people are turning to subscription services like Netflix and Amazon Prime video for their favorite movies, shows and specials.

Netflix is approaching their 10th anniversary and has nearly 100 million subscribers with projections to hit nearly 140 million by 2020. But they’re not the only one attracting consumers – Amazon, Hulu and Vudu are steadily gaining subscribers and motivating legacy cable brands like ESPN, Showtime and Starz to make it easier for consumers to purchase digital subscriptions to view content on their phones, tablets, computers and smart TVs.

With massive libraries containing thousands of films, sitcoms, documentaries and more, streaming companies require immense IT capacity with fail-proof capabilities. On top of that, what was once called “marathon viewing” has now been replaced by a new trend sweeping nearly three-quarters of American households: binge watching. With the release of a new popular series, streaming services have to be prepared for substantial levels of consumption.

This video streaming explosion is a real world example of the type of growth driving the hyperscale landscape. These massive libraries have to be stored somewhere. These companies require advanced, low-latency network connections to ensure subscribers have instant access to the latest episodes of House of Cards or their favorite season of The Office.

Furthermore, video streaming services are becoming smarter. By analyzing user behavior, these companies can better serve their customers – offering relevant programming suggestions and prompting you to find out “Are you really still watching?” All of the data from Netflix’s streaming service lives in the cloud and as the company continues to rapidly acquire new subscribers (with the rate of subscriptions increasing as they produce more original content), they will need the agility to spin up new cloud environments and supporting data center infrastructure immediately. Each subscriber brings with them a multitude of connected devices: phones, computers, tablets, smart TVs, gaming systems, etc. – so the scalability required is immense.

This is where the Hyperscale Service Provider comes in, providing multi-megawatt deployments with the most important variable: speed. Video streaming services are racing neck and neck to retain users’ attentions. When one series ends, they want to offer another relevant, engaging viewer experience in the form of another selection from their content library. Streaming services are adding more subscription content and more options to buy or rent. This industry is growing quickly and HSPs are uniquely positioned to drive down their capital costs by offering hyperscale-ready mega data centers and power infrastructure.

QTS has been leading the hyperscale movement for over a decade, with the ability to provide two megawatts of power at any of our mega data centers across the United States. Learn more about hyperscale solutions from QTS.