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The CDN Federation: Spreading Benefits Across the Web-Video Value Chain

Whether driven by live sports or blockbuster movies, the explosive demand for Internet video keeps rising. Indeed, by 2015, Cisco projects a quadrupling of IP traffic, 90 percent of which will be video.

This is an exciting trend. But headaches abound, up and down the value chain. One solution is the CDN federation, which Read More »

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The CDN Federation: Spreading Benefits Across the Web-Video Value Chain

Whether driven by live sports or blockbuster movies, the explosive demand for Internet video keeps rising. Increasingly, consumers want it all, and they want it on any device, at any time. Indeed, by 2015, Cisco projects a quadrupling of IP traffic, 90 percent of which will be video.

This is an exciting trend, for sure. But headaches abound, up and down the value chain. For service providers (SPs), this torrent of web content places an undue burden on the network. And SPs gain little in revenue, since over-the-top content providers often outsource the distribution of their material to pure-play content delivery network (CDN) companies. Meanwhile, the content providers—who increasingly charge consumers for their offerings—fear that they may not be able to maintain standards of quality. As for those paying customers? They want their video now, and they expect it to stream perfectly.

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On Transitions, CDN Interconnects, and Why You Should Not Miss Scott Puopolo’s Keynote at CDN World Summit

This is my last blog. Well, last blog as a guy focused on the video service provider segment. A few weeks ago, I accepted a role within Cisco to lead our Service Provider Mobility marketing efforts for our rapidly growing mobility business.

Almost immediately upon telling people of my move, the ribbing began: “Challenge junkie!” “You just can’t get enough, can you?” And so on.

I suppose it’s true. I spent the last four years helping to craft a vision and product portfolio for IP video. First, we called it “3rd wave of Video”, knowing we were onto something big.

When we finally got our arms and our engineering resources around it, we gave birth to something magical that we call “Videoscape.” It’s an umbrella term for everything that’s required to successfully transition to IP video – from Media Data Centers, to CDNs, to gateways, and everything in between.

Last week, in fact, we strengthened that portfolio even more with our acquisition of BNI Video – a group of entrenched cable veterans who will significantly augment our ability to provide CDN analytics, as well as session and process management for end points seeking IP video.

So, it’s an exciting time to be transitioning, and I remain fully and enthusiastically committed to those budding realities.

But enough about me. Let’s talk about my colleague Scott Puopolo, who will present at the CDN World Summit in London. In his keynote, Scott will give a detailed look at a first-ever pilot of an open CDN federation trial that British Telecom, KDDI, Orange, SFR and Telecom Italia participated; we anticipate more service providers to join the effort within the coming weeks and months.

Meanwhile, and along the same lines, our own François Le Faucheur took the initiative to volunteer his time and efforts as co-chair of a new IETF working group, the CDN Interconnect (CDNI), to flesh out the critical technology components and direction for federated CDNs. (Well done, Francois!). You can find a recent post by Francois on his IETF standards work here.

Federated CDNs optimized for video are important because of the explosion in IP devices capable of displaying video, and the corresponding tsunami of video traffic flowing into those devices. Service provider CDNs fulfill a unique role in enabling a high QoE for rich media services on a global footprint , but they’ll not go far enough if they’re not interconnected.

This is all about creating a market, and it’s happening. I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the critical enabler in all of this -- our Cisco CDS, as part of the Videoscape portfolio, which is comprised of both a business and technology architecture for IP video to flourish. In other words, it’s not just a product play.

This is why you won’t want to miss that keynote. It’s an exciting (understatement) and important milestone in the migration to all-IP, in general, and IP video, in specific. For me, it’s a validation of the work we’ve done for so long to advance the B2B2C promise of Videoscape. Happy trails!

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Why I’m So Jazzed About CDNI

By Francois Le Faucheur, System Architect, Cisco Systems

With the CDN World Summit coming up this week in London (Oct 26-28), it seems a good time to describe something that’s been a working passion of mine: CDNI, where the “I” stands for “Interconnect.”

What’s CDNI? It’s a new working group within the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF), co-chaired by myself and my colleague Rich Woundy, Senior VP/Software and Applications for Comcast. The working group mission is to develop standards for the interconnection of CDNs run by different operators, so they can inter-operate and collectively provide a multi-footprint CDN — thereby pooling resources that are owned and operated by multiple operators.

It’s all about how to link up the world’s CDNs, so that they can exchange information and work collectively. Just like the Internet was about linking up the world’s IP networks.

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