S3 Group unveils StormTest Warning Center

Tuesday, August 26th, 2014
S3 Group logo

S3 Group Unveils StormTest® Warning Center

  • Expands StormTest portfolio to deliver real-time performance and service readiness insights for video platforms
  • New, cloud-based platform provides remote service monitoring, validation and real-time analytics of video services across connected devices on live networks
  • Optimizes communication between development and operations teams as video service providers evolve to continuous product delivery

DUBLIN — Video Service Providers around the globe are trying to balance the competing needs to accelerate product development and maintain stability by creating tighter synergy between their development and operations teams. To address this growing demand, S3 Group, a global leader at enhancing the performance and service readiness of video platforms across connected devices, today introduced StormTest® Warning Center as part of its end-to-end service validation portfolio.

Warning Center is a new, cloud-based video service monitoring and validation platform designed to ensure peak performance of video services on devices across the entire network. It provides network operations teams with continuous, automated monitoring of service availability and performance, including: linear TV services, on-demand services, interactive menus, set-top box applications, EPG validity, and more. Warning Center customers can apply their own pre-defined thresholds for alerts, use real-time analytics to make “big data” driven business decisions, and reduce mean-time-to-diagnose and mean-time-to-repair through remote access to network monitoring nodes.

Warning Center is designed to work synergistically with S3 Group’s StormTest® Development Center, the leading video test automation platform. Whereas Development Center is designed primarily to test devices and services by development teams in lab environments prior to deployment, Warning Center provides development and operations teams with ongoing feedback from devices and services within a live network. Using the Warning Center portal, operators can monitor real-time performance and service readiness thresholds, and interact remotely with set-top boxes deployed in the network.

“Whether video service providers have already adopted a DevOps model, or are on their way, they require better support tools to move faster, while ensuring quality and stability,” said John Maguire, Director Strategy and Marketing, TV Technology, S3 Group. “Based on feedback from our customers, we’ve created Warning Center to help automate testing and monitor multiscreen video service availability in the network, and seamlessly tie the information gathered back into the product development process. Unlike lab testing, which provides data based on a single point in time, Warning Center provides a continuous set of service readiness insights over time.”

Warning Center in Action

As part of a pre-launch trial, Irdeto, a leader in Multiscreen, Revenue Assurance and Media Protection solutions and services, deployed Warning Center to automate intercontinental monitoring of customer service levels across its global operations in support of the FIFA World Cup™. Rory O’Connor, Vice President of Managed Services for Irdeto, said: “Warning Center was a natural choice for Irdeto to ensure that our customers’ subscribers did not miss any of the excitement of the FIFA World Cup. With our stringent requirements for security and availability, it was important to us to choose a product that was hosted reliably and could scale to serve our customers around the globe seamlessly.”

Freesat, the Free-to-Air digital satellite television platform in the UK, is also benefiting from a deployment of Warning Center. “The ability to monitor service availability with real customer equipment in real-time provides our product development teams with more accurate data from within the network, accelerates our awareness of service issues, and makes our operations much more agile,” said Matthew Huntington, Freesat CTO. “Ultimately, Warning Center helps us to make our video services more robust with live diagnostics of service availability, and allows us to share critical information between our development and operations teams.”

Benefits and Features

Warning Center is the newest product within the StormTest product portfolio of service validation and performance monitoring products. It is designed to 1) reduce the time from product concept to market deployment through increased service visibility and actionable data; 2) reduce the time required to resolve issues via early warning notifications and remote issue resolution; and 3) improve business efficiency by collating and correlating customer, content and service data.

Key product features include:

  • Video Application Performance Monitoring:
    • Track the user experience on end-devices to achieve continuous end-customer video platform service monitoring;
    • Facilitate tighter feedback loop with development teams to prevent ongoing interruptions and iterate faster for new service delivery;
    • Monitor services on a range of devices including set-top boxes, phones, tablets, and many others.
  • Alerts:
    • Rules-driven automated testing with configurable notification thresholds for service disturbance, performance KPIs, and defect localization;
    • Receive notifications when services become unavailable or impact the user experience, reducing the need for time-consuming manual monitoring;
    • Provide direct input to issue tracking or project management applications to notify development teams of service impacting issues.
  • Insights:
    • Perform real-time analytics via an easy-to-use portal that provides live and detailed views of service behavior and performance segmented by software configurations, events, devices, fault types, tested channels, geographic sites, and much more;
    • Make data-driven decisions and generate custom reports for specific points in time, or displays trends over time.
  • Probes:
    • Deliver 24/7 automated performance monitoring at strategic network nodes;
    • Provide remote access to connected CPE for troubleshooting, enabling manual control of set-top boxes, OTT or video CPE devices in the field to ensure they are performing correctly.

Warning Center is the latest addition to the StormTest product portfolio complementing StormTest® Development Center and StormTest® Decision Line. Development Center validates services delivered to more than 140 million viewers, across 28 countries. Development Center is globally recognized for its ability to increase operational efficiencies and provide quality assurance of ongoing video service software releases across set-top boxes, gateway devices, game consoles, connected TVs, and mobile applications. Decision Line enables operator CPE supply chains, as well as their logistics and screening partners, to automate the process of testing CPE prior to delivery to customers, either as new or A-grade replacement equipment.

At IBC2014, September 12-16 in Amsterdam, S3 Group will demonstrate its StormTest portfolio, latest advances in video service validation, video platform consultancy, and Reference Design Kit (RDK) migration support in Hall 3, stand 3.B18.