It was a calculated risk that could have backfired horrendously. But five years after its decision to adopt the Grid Delivery technology, Korean-based startup Peering Portal is finally beginning to see the fruits of its investment blossom.
As CEO Vaughn Hahn readily admits, the company owes its success to that rare combination of labor, location--and a little bit of luck.
"Having started our business in Korea was lucky for us. Korea has the highest Internet penetration rate and it became a good test bed for our technology," says Hahn, referring to the country's 12 million broadband users.
Mostly used for online music and video, streaming is a method of transferring rich digital media across a network without requiring local data storage. But the advent of bandwidth-intensive applications like IPTV (Internet Protocol TV) and video on demand (VOD) meant that traditional streaming technologies were ill-equipped to manage the heavy surges in data flow.
That prompted Peering Portal to develop its commercial Pcube Stream application based on the grid delivery model.
In a grid architecture, a central server monitors and controls data movement over numerous client PCs in a network. This method of information-load sharing, explains Hahn, reduces bottlenecks and allows large amounts of data to move with greater efficiency.
Faith in the technology soon paid off. Thanks to the increasing demand for high-quality multimedia and the steady of growth of Korea's streaming content industry, Peering Portal managed to secure a number of lucrative contracts.
The company now boasts an impressive portfolio of high-profile clients which includes major Korean streaming service providers like Cyworld and Pandora TV. The former owns the largest social networking site in Korea, with an estimated base of about 18 million users and daily revenue of US$300,000.
CEO, Peering Portal
Says Hahn: "Our technology is applied to [Cyworld's] background music service, providing music of 64kbps to over 500,000 concurrent users." The company plans to enter the local IPTV sector, too. It is currently working with Microsoft and MBC to develop a solution for delivering high-definition (HD) video content.
Having successfully promoted Pcube Stream at home, Peering Portal is now focused on pushing its technology to the international stage. Plans for an extended base of operations in the United States are already on the cards.
"2007 will be the initial year for Peering Portal to enter the global market," proclaims Hahn. "In the initial stage, we plan to have about 10 employees at the US office, who will manage partners and resellers, as well as for marketing activities."
Eventually, says Hahn, the company will also move its research and development arm to the States.