Chapter 3. Sling TV: Providing “Big Data on Demand” for Users and Systems

Sling TV is a leading over-the-top (OTT) live streaming content platform that delivers live TV and on-demand entertainment instantly to a variety of smart televisions, tablets, game consoles, computers, smartphones, and streaming devices. Sling TV, a subsidiary of DISH Network Corporation, is a virtual multichannel video programming distributor (vMVPD)—allowing today’s most popular channels to be viewed through the Sling TV application.

As the cloud-native and big data evangelist at Sling TV, Brad Linder leads three teams: Big Data & Analytics, Cloud Native Engineering, and a Client Middleware Development team. In total, that accounts for about 50 employees. There are currently 12 people on the Big Data team.

“We are doing some really cool stuff with some pretty awesome technology,” says Linder. “There is no better example than Sling TV to demonstrate a unique and interesting use case where cloud-native and big data come together.” Sling TV has millions of devices in the field talking back to it as it delivers video over the internet. As such, it faces a lot of unknowns. “When we deliver video over the internet, constant two-way communication is occurring. Millions of devices are talking to our backend systems, necessitating our infrastructure to be highly elastic and responsive. Our system must adapt,” says Linder. “It is very exciting.”

Sling TV depends on data to keep its competitive edge. It was first ...

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