Orca Interactive has announced the result of a benchmark simulating half a million broadband television subscribers.

The simulation demonstrated the high levels of scalability that network operators and service providers need to serve the emerging IPTV or internet protocol television market. It may also suggest that conventional broadcasting is likely to remain the most cost-effective means to provide television services to mass audiences for some time.

Orca Interactive worked with HP on the benchmark at their research facility in Paramus, New Jersey. The benchmark simulated a mix of 500,000 subscribers with different television usage profiles accessing 300 conventional television channels and video-on-demand services from a database of a thousand movies.

The subscribers were divided into five profiles, representing different levels of activity, such as a ‘TV zapper’ or a ‘movie browser’. The benchmark simulated 250,000 users watching television, and just over 70,000 concurrent video-on-demand users.

The benchmark was performed using Orca’s RiGHTv platform, based on Oracle10g running on a 12 CPU HP server platform with the HP-UX 11i operating system, four dual processor application servers and six cache servers.

One terabyte of storage was required to store a 90 million row database supporting the simulated subscriber population. The activity was simulated using a stress testing tool, with specific subscribers represented by real set-top boxes.

The test generated 123,000 actions per minute, with an average response time of 3.5 milliseconds for common activities, with an average time of under half a second for more complex activities such as a custom search or ordering a movie.

“Our focus at Orca Interactive has always been creating a telco-grade platform ready for delivering television services to hundreds of thousands of subscribers,” said Dotan Naveh, responsible for research and development at Orca Interactive.

“This benchmark demonstrates HP and Orca’s strong capability to scale up and support the IPTV deployments of the future,” added Marco Limena of HP.