Last year, I was curious on how content gets delivered across the internet and especially to mobile devices. It led me to dig deeper into Content Delivery Networks.Content Delivery Networkis distributed server network that distributes web-content to various servers around the world so users from that geographic location can access the content faster.
Imagineyou upload your cat's picture on your website from Darien, Connecticut. If the picture is hosted on local server in Connecticut, your girlfriend trying to access it from Japan might experience somelatency. However, if you submit it to Content Delivery Network, which will then distribute your content to their servers in Japan, your girlfriend's request to access the picture on your webpage will be accelerated as the request doesn't have to travel all the way across Pacific to local servers in Connecticut.
Content Delivery Network (or CDN) have evolved over time. Users have gone mobile andmobilecarriers are struggling to differentiate their offering all the while having to deal with limited spectrum resource and managing expectational quality-of-service. To re-coup the subscribers, carriers are moving into content business. T-Mobile is providingfree music streaming
over their 4G LTE while Verizon completed itspurchase of AOLback in June. With a large number of subscriber streaming music and videos, traditional CDN might not able to keep up with the streaming demand. Hence they are seeking a better solution.
Traditional CDN fall under "middle-mile" in the network ecosystem where contents are deliveredacross the servers in differentgeography. However, most of the latency occurs in the last mile, i.e. between the cell tower antenna and the mobile device. So, mobile operators are looking for a betterlast-milesolution to increase the bandwidth capacity.
Last mile CDN is a relatively new concept and few startups are working to build this technology. In last mile solution, contents are cached in mobile base station closer to the subscriber. This prevents content-access-request to travel all the way to the CDN server and may be accessed directly from the mobile base station there by saving content load time.
from Switzerland, provides list mile delivery working directly with network operators duringRadio Access Network(RAN)planning process. Whereas startups likeTwinprime,KwicrandRevAPMworks on last mile delivery through advanced content acceleration bydynamic route optimization. Another company calledSaguna Networkswhich provides last mile delivery in RAN with its easyNetwork Function Virtualizationtoolshas formed a strategic alliance with traditional CDN behemothAkamai Technologies(NASDAQ: AKAM) to roll out their solution with mobile operators.
Advancement in last mile Content Delivery Network technologies will prove to be an effectivesolution to improve quality-of-service(QoS) for the network operators and content providers alike. I have high hopes of watching thisdogeat cerealon Youtube without any lag on my 4G LTE phone someday.