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Service Providers and CDNs: Why Now?

One clear trend, here at the close of 2010, is the rise in importance of Content Distribution Networks, or CDNs, to cable service providers.

Here at Cisco, CDNs are similarly front-of-mind.

In this video, I outline three drivers for the growth of Content Distribution Networks (CDNs) in service provider networks: 

  • To more easily reach video-capable, IP-connectable end points, with more types of video assets
  • To centralize movie and video asset distribution, instead of manually  populating hundreds of distributed video on demand servers
  • To attract new revenue sources, such as wholesale content distribution.

Our ongoing work with British Telecom, for instance, helped them establish an important and new business model: Extending BT’s quality of service (QoS-)enabled CDN to their broadcasting and media partners, within the YouView [Canvas] initiative.

Plus, as service providers prepare competitive video offerings to serve screens beyond the television - an undeniable trend across our customer base - CDNs provide a great mechanism to scale streaming video.

Operational efficiencies also come into play -- in a big way -- with CDN overlays. When VOD was new to the market, in the 2001 timeframe, most systems were built in such a way that storage servers and streaming pumps were scattered across a service provider’s footprint. On a regular basis, titles were manually streamed into dozens or hundreds of geographically disparate servers.

By contrast, CDNs offer a way to ingest titles once, then distribute them into hierarchical storage, where the most popular titles reside closest to consumers. Much more efficient,  much more cost effective.

In closing: CDNs are all about the reliable delivery of high-quality IP video, to multiple types of video-capable end points, in a cost-efficient way. And as the IP video marketplace continues to vault into position, throughout 2011, CDNs will matter more and more.

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