Leading managed application hosting provider NaviSite Inc. (Nasdaq: NAVI) will broadcast a part of space history on the Internet when it streams footage of the 140-ton Mir space station burning up in an extraordinary celestial display upon its fiery re-entry into the Earth’s atmosphere.
As the exclusive streaming provider for the event, NaviSite will provide MirReentry.com with its streamOS performance management and content distribution capabilities. The technology will deliver first-hand views of the event, expected to be the largest celestial event since the Tunguska meteorite struck the Earth in Siberia in 1908. The reentry, previously scheduled for March 20, is now expected to occur on or around March 23.
“MirReentry.com came to us with a complex problem – taking this event on the Net in a large scale,” David Gilby, NaviSite Streaming Media Group (SMG) director of marketing, told InternetNews. “We expect a tremendous amount of traffic.”
The MIR Reentry Observation Expedition plane, carrying film production crews and acquisition technology from HD3, will fly approximately 200 miles from the projected track of reentry to capture the event. The 140-ton Mir is one of the world’s first orbiting space stations.
When it reaches the Earth’s atmosphere, somewhere over the South Pacific, it is expected that up to 100 tons of the space station will burn up, while the remaining 40 tons continues to break up and hit the ocean at near sonic speed. Using streamOS, MirReentry.com will stream the footage online, allowing visitors worldwide to watch the reentry on demand.
In addition to the volume of visitors, NaviSite SMG must contend with the timeliness of the broadcast. To accomplish a quick turnaround, two NaviSite technicians will be onboard the plane to edit the footage of the re-entry and interviews, as well as to oversee the broadcast of the footage to its satellite uplink facility, Gilby said.
NaviSite SMG is no stranger to large-scale webcasts. “We did the Madonna concert on MSN this fall with 9 million viewers,” Gilby said. “That really pushed the limits – we used 85 percent of our streaming media resources.” Since the Mir event will be served in an on-demand fashion rather than as a one-time live event, Gilby expects the traffic to be spread out more evenly over the course of a month or so, making it easier to manage the traffic.
“We chose to work with NaviSite because this is a once in a lifetime event and we wanted the best streaming technology available so we could deliver high quality footage to anyone who wants to view it,” said Robert Belzer, co-owner and chief technical officer at MirReentry.com. “streamOS will provide us with the capabilities we need to bring this spectacular display to a worldwide audience.”
NaviSite’s streamOS is a scalable, cost-effective platform for high-performance streaming content management and delivery, enabling customers to use drag-and-drop functionality to deploy, organize and manage streaming content on their Web sites via a browser-based interface.
streamOS employs a utility service approach which allows customers to leverage the high-performance streaming infrastructure provided by streamOS Content Distribution Networks (CDNs) as they need it. streamOS speeds the deployment of streaming content and events, and makes streaming more cost effective and flexible by allowing customers to pay on a usage basis with instant resource provisioning.
Through its partnerships with CDNs, NaviSite provides a strong international and domestic network for delivering high-quality, high-bit-rate content. streamOS also enables customers to track and report on the performance of streaming broadcasts to ensure high availability.
Mir celebrated its 15th birthday in February, surviving well beyond its original anticipated five-year life span. The reentry will be marked by the breaking apart of the Mir into hundreds, even thousands of pieces, the rupture of the major pressurized modules, and the streaming trails of incandescent debris as it passes through the Earth’s atmosphere.
“It is a great opportunity to be part of the Mir reentry event, and one that we are looking forward to immensely,” said Joel Rosen, president and CEO of NaviSite. “streamOS provides superior streaming services that an event of this magnitude demands, ensuring performance, reliability, scalability and ease of management.”
Andover, Mass.-based NaviSite is a majority-owned operating company of CMGI Inc. with minority investment from Microsoft Corporation. NaviSite’s SiteHarbor solutions provide co-location and hosting services, including Internet access, and high-availability server management solutions through load balancing, clustering, mirroring and storage services.
NaviSite’s enhanced management services, beyond basic co-location and hosting, are designed to meet the expanding needs of businesses as their Web sites and Internet applications become more complex and as their needs for outsourcing all aspects of their online businesses intensify.
NaviSite’s Streaming Media Group (SMG) is a leading outsource service provider for end-to-end streaming needs. With the expansion from a managed site hosting company to an integrated streaming services provider, NaviSite offers the highest quality production, management, broadcast, and service experience to customers who want to stream programming. The SMG provides the complete infrastructure, from filming the event to delivery over the Internet for live, on-demand and interactive video chat events. NaviSite SMG is located in La Jolla, Calif.