HPE virtual headend manager

Simplify headend operations—save cost and time to market

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Gain freedom from vendor lock-in and proprietary legacy appliances. Unleash the power of automation and orchestration.

  • Headends are evolving toward fully orchestrated cloud solutions

    Increasing competitiveness through the orchestration of video delivery platforms

    Barriers that have made it difficult to enter into the media and entertainment market in the past now have been removed.

    Aggressive over-the-top (OTT) video streaming providers have changed the way consumers watch content. They are offering innovative, cost-competitive multiscreen on-demand video services with exclusive content, whereas service providers in developed markets are facing increased churns, slowing growth in IPTV revenue and decreasing profitability. Transforming existing video delivery systems and operations with virtualization and orchestration results in increased agility, which can enable content service providers (CSPs) to offer flexible service bundles, reduce cost, and accelerate innovation.


    Service providers are using network functions virtualization (NFV) and software-defined networking (SDN) in their networks—these technologies can be extended to video processing to bring the same benefits enjoyed by the IT and Communications industries. HPE VHM enables the virtualization and orchestration of the media functions enabling one click channel deployment and channel failover in the cloud; it implements the “TV Channel Media Service” of HPE 5G Core Network Reference Architecture. Content providers reduce time to market (TTM) for new services, increase operational efficiency, and reduce cost.

  • Increase business agility and reduce cost

    Lower time to market, incremental investments, and increased purchasing power

    In a virtualized headend, the addition of new services or channels can be accomplished quicker as it becomes a matter of automated software configuration.

    It also enables the shift from a traditional model where appliances had to be purchased at project outset and amortized over multiple years to a model where resources are consumed on demand. The vendor-agnostic unified management layer allows the use of best-in-class solutions for each function, eliminating black boxes and avoiding vendor lock-in, placing the CSP in a better negotiating position.
  • Open architecture

    Avoiding vendor lock-in

    HPE VHM is designed with an end-to-end open architecture.


    • Commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) hardware
    • CPU-based processing (no need for specialized acceleration cards)
    • OpenStack® private cloud supporting Queens and Newton releases
    • Integration of functions through REST APIs



    This gives the content providers freedom of choice to produce their channels with the vendors/products that make the most sense for their TV network, and eliminate an ecosystem of legacy, proprietary or appliance-based technology.

  • Unified Management Console

    Removing the necessity to configure applications through proprietary interfaces

    HPE VHM provides a unified console to configure, control, and monitor the media functions (transcoders, probes, multiplexers) from integrated vendors, available as a graphical user interface (GUI) or API (REST).

    This gives the content provider the flexibility to launch a live TV Channel from a series of functions provided by a variety of applications chosen by the CSP. Even with a variety of providers’ applications to manage, the single unified management console integrates and simplifies the management of the multiple functions with this single tool.


    Shared infrastructure platform for all the integrated components and versions

    In addition, the standardized COTS private cloud architecture removes the necessity to maintain dedicated resource pools. The creation of Channels using different formats (SD, HD, UHD) or codecs (MPEG-4 AVC or HEVC) can be done using a single pool of shared resources, which increases the sustainability of investments in the infrastructure. The shared pool of compute resources can be reused as technology evolves and new standards are defined.

  • Manage the full lifecycle of a channel

    Definition, deployment, configuration, monitoring, and decommissioning

    HPE VHM is the single tool to manage the complete lifecycle of live linear channels and OTT content. From a single console the operator can:


    • Define channel input, output, and transcoding parameters using a simple modular profile or track template configuration
    • Instantiate virtualized resources
    • Apply the configuration of respective virtual media functions
    • Configure changes throughout the channel lifecycle
    • Monitor the end-to-end service; including the application, the service configuration, and the virtual infrastructure
    • Upgrade running transcoding instances minimizing downtime using Smart Upgrade functionality and taking advantage of spare instances
    • Decommission virtual functions and release resources for reuse



FIGURE 1. HPE Virtual Headend Manager boosts service agility and performance


  • Zero packet loss

    Live media processing in flawless virtual networks

    Live media processing is one of the most challenging workloads to run in a cloud environment, due to carrier-grade network and service availability requirements combined with multicast traffic and complex, existing appliance-based environments.

    Within the VHM solution, HPE provides a reference architecture to configure and utilize OpenStack as the underlying private cloud that ensures a flawless virtualized network. With OVS-DPDK, NUMA awareness and CPU pinning features, a high-level control is provided guarantying low packet loss even for multicast environments and provide dedicated resources and performances to processing nodes. This is the basic requirement to ensure the same quality and performance is achieved from a virtualized headend as experienced with legacy appliances. By utilizing the standard OpenStack components, you can eliminate the requirement for proprietary virtual switches.

  • Automated failover and self-healing

    Integration of fulfillment and assurance to ensure maximal service availability

    After a live channel has been deployed as a chain of media functions, HPE VHM monitors the health of the virtualized infrastructure as well as the health of the overall service by utilizing video quality probes. If one of the components in the processing chain reaches threshold or fails, HPE VHM recognizes the failure and invokes auto-corrective actions. For channels that have been deployed in high-available mode either 1+1 or N+M, HPE VHM automatically fails over the processing session to the backup instance, and if necessary restages failed virtual machines to automatically restore the desired state.

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