Delivering Hybrid and Online Learning with Greater Than 99.999% Reliability
It’s been more than six months since the COVID-19 pandemic closed campuses and forced educators around the world to move to remote and online learning. As we reported back in April 2020, we saw a significant increase in Echo360 use during the initial phase of the pandemic, even as classroom recording declined. Now that school is back in session, even more instructors are teaching effectively and reliably using a combination of online, hybrid, and classroom modalities enabled by Echo360.
Rapid Video Growth Poses Technical and Operational Challenges
Before the pandemic hit, Echo360 was already serving the diverse video needs of more than two million students across hundreds of universities and colleges worldwide. Between February and April 2020, we saw rapid growth in video created outside the classroom, including:
- 4.0X increase in video created on personal devices
- 2.6X increase in total video views
- 2.5X increase in software live streaming
Sudden scaling often wreaks havoc with commercial SaaS applications not engineered to fully harness the cloud’s processing power and scalability. Additionally, some software providers lack the operational sophistication needed to seamlessly manage dramatic cloud usage fluctuations across hundreds of active clients worldwide. Such product and operational gaps may help to explain why some other video platforms have suffered service degradations and outages during the recent back-to-school period.
Designed for Superior Scalability and Reliability
The Echo360 platform is built to scale and we have a lengthy history of exceeding our service-level agreement availability standards. Four years ago, we made the strategic decision to invest in rebuilding our legacy on-premise software as a true cloud-based platform running in the Amazon Web Services (AWS) environment. Unlike video platform companies that moved their legacy on-premise software into a cloud-based managed services model, Echo360 is designed and built from the ground up to fully realize the reliability and price performance of the cloud.
One of the primary goals in developing our native cloud solution was to provide seamless scalability and superior reliability, even in times of volatile change. We are pleased to report that, despite the dramatic usage increases we’ve experienced during the COVID-19 pandemic, Echo360 continued to exceed our 99.999% benchmark for global platform availability measured from March through August 2020. We built our solution to scale and the pandemic has proven it to be among the industry’s most resilient and reliable video and engagement platform for education.
Why is Echo360 More Reliable and Scalable than Other Video Platforms?
We’ve recently received a lot of questions about our platform reliability and why we are confident that Echo360 will support our clients’ most intensive video needs. Our confidence stems from a few critical differentiators built into our state-of-the-art cloud platform:
- Every critical function of the Echo360 platform is a standalone subsystem that is independent of the others and is fully redundant. This advanced design means that if a subsystem experiences an issue, there is a backup system already running to seamlessly take its place. It also means that an issue in one subsystem won’t impact the rest of the platform.
- We have automated the ability to scale Echo360 subsystems geometrically, within minutes, and without human intervention. The platform intelligently monitors its own performance and dynamically allocates cloud resources in response to fluctuations in usage and processing power demands.
- The Echo360 platform does not require any scheduled maintenance or downtime. New product releases are deployed without service interruption.
In short, Echo360 has invested heavily in building a platform with the highest level of software availability and reliability – and that investment is paying off for our users during these difficult times.
Operational Excellence Ensures Ongoing Reliability
The reliability of the Echo360 platform is further enhanced by the operational best practices of our world-class Site Reliability Engineering (SRE) team. This group of experienced engineers is dedicated to designing and operating the cloud and network infrastructure required to exceed Echo360’s performance benchmarks.
Throughout the pandemic the SRE team has been collaborating with AWS to optimize our platform for unpredictable growth and volatility. Here are just a few of the additional actions we’ve taken to ensure the highest levels of platform reliability and user experience:
- Upgraded the cloud infrastructure that powers the Echo360 platform to take advantage of AWS’s most advanced performance and reliability enhancements
- Rolled out AWS Global Accelerator to optimize user traffic by routing it to the closest AWS network edge location, which can improve network performance by up to 60%
- Collaborated with AWS to provision 3X more global content delivery network (CDN) capacity to minimize platform response time
The SRE team is mission-driven in its efforts to exceed the company’s service level commitments and to consistently deliver more than 99.999% availability for the Echo360 platform.
Learn more: From campus video management, lecture capture, online and hybrid learning and more, contact us to discover how Echo360 can help transform the teaching and learning experience at your institution.