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The Shift to Content Delivery Networks (CDNs) Supports More and Better Customer Video Experiences

The Internet has emerged as one of the most powerful ways for businesses and consumers to communicate and learn. Its global reach, accessibility and speed have opened doors to areas of knowledge that in the past were available only to a privileged few. With the emergence of popular video-streaming services that deliver Internet video to the TV and other devices, content delivery networks (CDNs) have prevailed as a dominant method to deliver such content. However, the popularity of video and other IP-based multimedia is causing increased traffic for CDNs.

As consumers continue to demand greater amounts of high-quality content over the Internet, service providers (SPs) are finding it difficult to increase revenues while operating efficiently and containing costs. This is due mainly to two things: Read More »

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Cisco Pilot Proves the Value of CDN Federations

By Marc Latouche, Manager, Cisco Internet Business Solutions Group (IBSG) Service Provider

As more and more video traffic streams across service provider (SP) networks, many SPs are deploying content delivery networks (CDNs). In addition to supporting their own operations, these CDNs provide a viable commercial alternative — or complement — to pure-play CDNs (such as Level 3 and Limelight), and enable SPs to earn extra income from the content flowing over their network.

The Cisco® Internet Business Solutions Group (IBSG) believes that CDN federations will provide an even farther-reaching solution. Cisco began to develop the concept of CDN federations in 2011, envisioning them as multi-footprint, open CDN capabilities built and shared by autonomous members. With CDN federations, SPs can interconnect — and leverage — one another’s CDN resources, ultimately benefiting all players in the value chain. Consumers gain in quality of service, SPs benefit through increased revenue potential, and content providers benefit in the assurance that their product will be distributed with guaranteed service and to a wider, potentially global audience.

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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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