Content Delivery Networks – An Overview

Used to optimize the allocation/dispensing of digital media from a centralized location in the public or private cloud networks to the end user, content delivery networks move contents closer to the end recipient on PCs, mobile phones, set top boxes or other digital devices and gaming consoles. They are aimed at moving content closer to the end recipient and hence making the networks performance better by increased efficiency and reduced latency or jitter.

Content delivery networks – CDNs apply a variety of technologies & architectural topologies to augment the performance, speed, dependability & efficiency by network delivered content as it makes the way from the content owner to the end consumer. The basic mechanism of CDNs include distributed storage, reproduction and an edge cashing capacity nearly placed to or within broadband service provider (also known as “eyeball” networks).

Content switching and load balancing are some of the CDN technology elements. Smart network inner routing and incorporated software directs content requests to the “optimal” edge server best positioned to serve up the content and ascertain the cleanness of the delivered contents. This course of action of clear content delivery can be implemented at varying locaiongs in the content delivery supply chain with the involvement of different parties (providers of collocation sets), producing opportunities for a variety of players in the CDN space.

The business form of CDN / collocation sets providers is determined by the range of network resources and the customer relationship to their disposal. They could be unidirectional and hence serving only one portion of the digital content value chain in addition as multifaceted by serving a huge variety of different ecosystem participants, including end-user. They can leverage their own upstream or downstream facilities on the basis of infrastructure or lease portions of the infrastructure from third party suppliers and hence function as virtual or overlay networks. The varying approaches to content delivery networks can be summarized as follows:

1. Mainstream CDNs – the supply chain of pure CDNs functioning involves facilities based internet / cloud backbones for paid IP transit and settlement free peering arrangements. They leverage other network operators, ISPs and data center providers to establish the points of presence the aid web & streaming servers, storage gear & caching infrastructure.

2. Network-based CDNs

3. CDNs to Aid Prompt Video dispensing – Digital TV, IPTV and other pay TV providers utilize CDNs to augment their pre-existing dispensing infrastructure to deliver the “on-need” and the “on-web” content.

4. Controlled Multi-screen CDN

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