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Monitoring Video Quality of Experience

Monitoring Video Quality of Experience


The keynotes and breakout sessions from the Zenoss GalaxZ17 Conference are available online.  SOPRIS contributed to two of these sessions:

1.      Demystifying Network Function Virtualization (NFV) Service Assurance and (in partnership with Zenoss)

2.      Zenoss as Core Element of Video Quality of Service (QoS). (SOPRIS Presentation)


This article provides a high-level summary of the content of the SOPRIS “Zenoss as Core Element of Video QoS”  presentation. 

Video streaming has become mainstream – every day we see new proof points as Netflix reaches 100 Million users (50 Million in US alone) driven by a combination of being easy to watch on TV or other devices, interesting original content, and reliable service.  In 2017 more US households have access to Netflix than a DVR and Netflix now has more subscribers than any single Pay TV service spending significantly on original programming becoming one of the heavyweights at the Emmys while Amazon was prominent at the Oscars.

Customers’ expectation is to watch whatever they want, whenever they want it, wherever they are, and on any device.  Quoting Verizon’s 2016 report on digital media services “Understanding consumers” online viewing habits and interests is key to driving higher engagement. Surprisingly, viewers choose where and how they watch based on one thing only: TV-like quality.”  Studies by Conviva reinforce the importance of quality – for example: 17% of users will abandon immediately on rebuffering, 59% will wait a short while, while only 24% will wait as long as it takes. After a bad viewing experience, 62% will give it one or two tries, 18 % keep trying and 20% abandon forever.

Its a complex delivery chain between content and screen with a lot of things that can go wrong and impact a user’s Quality of Experience resulting in re-buffering, picture quality interruptions, video start delays, etc.



The best way to measure actual Customer Experience is on the device by embedding an SDK that measures quality of experience every 2 seconds and reports back to an analytics platform every 20s.  The reports can be enriched with metadata to create insights for Operations, Marketing and Engineering.


The Conviva Pulse Platform provides a rich set of Experience Insights with a real-time dashboard showing key metrics (sessions, re-buffering ratio, bit rates, video start failures, plays, ..); filters using metadata; ability to build custom dashboards; capabilities to drill down into issues; capabilities to analyze individual customer experience and to set up triggers to other systems.

With video being a huge proportion of network traffic, aggregating data from millions of end user sessions also provides insight into what’s really happening in the network. This data can then be combined with metadata on network topology to highlight issues in a region, identify hotspots in the access network, identify capacity issues to be addressed and see the impact of major events.  Analyzing Video QoE and Network Topology has the potential to reveal issues even before network thresholds have been crossed.



SOPRIS’ Video Quality of Service Solution combines Conviva Analytics with Zenoss monitoring of the network and data centers and Application Performance Monitoring (APM) tools like Dynatrace, AppDynamics or New Relic monitoring the web portal and applications.  This solution provides an end to end view and integration into Operator BSS/OSS systems to not only monitor the customer Quality of Experience but also tie it back to what’s happening on the network for action.

SOPRIS’ Video Quality of Service Solution provides:

  • Unique capability to solve business issues by combining monitoring of the Network, Service, and Customer Experience
  • End to End visibility without deploying expensive probes
  • Rapid solution implementation by SOPRIS Services teams .. Conviva on device agents, Zenoss systems deployment & integration, analytics and data science
  • Ability to leverage Conviva’s deep expertise in streaming video and industry benchmarking

SOPRIS chose Zenoss to be the core platform for Solution Integration due to the following:

  • Open source centric, new world software/architecture
  • Open source community of nearly 40,000 (from very small to very large networks)
  • Scalable & robust architecture required by Tier 1’s
  • Support for integration with OSS & other systems
  • Unique capabilities of the Service Dynamics Impact Model to learn and map dependencies
  • Zenoss dashboards provide a Unified View across a complex service delivery chain
  • Large library of integrations easily extensible by adding or configuring Zenpacks for network, data center equipment, and really “anything” else
  • Breadth of features and customizability of user interfaces which Network Operations Centers demand
  • Simple Pricing Model
  • Excellent technical & commercial partners

Zenoss continues as the core of the SOPRIS vision for Service Assurance ..  subject of another upcoming article for you to look forward to!


About the Author:

David Stevenson is Head of Strategy at SOPRIS Technologies building solutions for Service Providers and Enterprise as Network, Cloud and Data Center converge around NFV and SDN.  Previously David led Motive (an Austin startup) growing it from a $50M at acquisition by Alcatel-Lucent to over $200M software business in Customer Experience Service Assurance, Device Management and Analytics with a global customer base.



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