CIO Insider

CIOInsider India Magazine

Separator

How are CDN Companies Meeting the Demands of OTT Platforms?

Separator
Ashwin Rao, Director, Limelight Networks India

With the pandemic resulting in a worldwide lockdown, people across diverse demographics have been confined to their homes. These developments result in record high online streaming media consumption. As a consequence, our broadband connections are filling in the gap left by the disruption of our normal daily life. They are very close to attaining the status of a ‘lifeline’, as we use them to get news, connect to our virtual work environments and entertainment in specific.

Much of the traffic on the internet can be attributed to content streaming sites that serve an expanding global audience, who have a penchant for binge-watching content such as web series, films and documentaries. This is indicative of why OTT platforms are taking over traditional media platforms, with avid content viewers the force behind the phenomenon.

There is likely to be a continual demand to scale up, which will only strengthen engagement down the line


This brings into question the handling of rapid traffic growth and increased latency, and the vital role of Content Delivery Networks (CDNs). These geographically distributed platforms of servers deliver web content to end-users, and minimize the time taken to load a webpage. Additionally, the currently soaring traffic load puts extra strain on the capacity of the CDN infrastructure.

To that end, CDN companies are expanding their services to lift the strain on networks some of which are reeling from congestion. Providers are prioritizing CDN optimizations by organizing investments towards better network topologies, routing and peering techniques. Additionally, more and more emphasis is being laid on deeper integration between origin and last mile network, to facilitate traffic saving optimizations such as request collapsing and origin shielding, with the intention of benefiting the whole distribution network.

Taking this into consideration, it is good news that network providers have invested in upgrades of fibre and IP-based networks. The way things stand currently, there is a need to reinforce decentralized services and applications from national locations to the application edge and close to data centres in major cities. This is a critical measure to accommodate the unprecedented surge in bandwidth demands from modern gaming, high-resolution streaming and virtual reality spheres.

Furthermore, CDN technologies have helped applications amazingly on that front. When users request information on the application interface, the request has to reach only the nearest data centre and revert back to the users. The signal need not travel to the original server. This makes for lesser load and cuts down congestion on the network servers, thereby delivering lower latency due to fewer hops.

Moreover, the robust infrastructure investments on network technologies come in quite handy. According to the consensus among network experts, the current CDN infrastructure will be able to tackle the surge in demand and there will be no dramatic shortcomings when it comes to network performance, in the foreseeable future.

That said, CDN companies appear to have sufficient infrastructure bandwidth to handle the upward trajectory of traffic loads during the COVID-19 pandemic. In the meantime, cloud infrastructure providers are also gearing up to provide sufficient additional computing, storage and bandwidth capacities to cater to the increasing requirements.

Final Note
The COVID-19 Pandemic is clearly an existential crisis, unsettling operations of several service providers. However, engagement with users must continue and lasting relationships need to be built. Further to this, there is likely to be a continual demand to scale up, which will only strengthen engagement down the line i.e. in the near future. Above all, a CDN service enables OTT players to leverage the most innovative technologies, to deliver a superior quality of experience to their viewers and ensure against high-traffic related deadlocks.

CDN companies will continually have to help OTT players by ensuring that their internet infrastructures are up to the mark. It is crucial to continually increase capacity and deliver services with high performance, even in the situation where there is soaring traffic demand.

Current Issue
Cloud Migration In Manufacturing Industry