While the growing popularity of video streaming has been evident for a few years now, the global shift to remote work and general health lockdowns has resulted in far more video content being consumed regularly.
The Content Delivery Network (CDN) affects your online life more than you realize. You can evaluate its impact when uploading any content on the site and applications: audio, video, streaming, images, texts, and graphics. CDN helps to deliver content quickly to the user, which is vital in many areas.
For example, due to the long loading of the online store page, the client will go to competitors, and if the media site takes a long time to load, the reader will choose another online media.
“At Teyuto, we use reliable CDNs around the world to give seamless streaming services to our customers. OTT content hosted through Teyuto guarantees the highest possible uptime and best loading performance.”
As a direct consequence, CDN video services have become much more relevant than ever to ensure that end-users get the best possible experience for their video-on-demand (VOD) or live-streaming content, including latency, buffering, etc.
CDN is a group of servers that provide faster online content delivery while being geographically distributed. CDN is widely used to solve one of the biggest content delivery problems worldwide - latency.
Latency is the time between a user requesting a particular piece of content and sending that piece of content to the user. In this case, the distance is critical because the data often travels thousands of kilometers from the server to the user, which makes latency a rather severe problem.
The main purpose of a CDN is to solve this problem by offering a wide network of servers that can "cache" the content you are looking for on a server much closer to your location than the original content's location.
While CDNs are widely used for all kinds of content, video streaming is probably the one that needs it the most right now, which is why there are so many different video content delivery network services on the market.
The growing volume of video traffic, the need to support remote work, and the provision of security services contribute to a significant expansion of the scope of content delivery networks.
Since its inception in the early 21st century, in a time of minimal restrictions for e-commerce sites and video distribution, Content Delivery Networks have come a long way. Over the past few years, we have witnessed a rapid expansion of the CDN market as industry pioneers have grown into cloud computing giants.
The demand for CDN services today is higher than ever. The explosion in the popularity of streaming services, social networks, and online games - thanks in no small part to the pandemic - has significantly increased the load on data centers.
The share of video in total WAN traffic continues to grow: according to Cisco, in 2021, video accounted for 82% of all IP traffic, with video with Ultra HD resolution at 20.7%.
CDN operators offer their services for the following domains:
These services include these services in a rapidly growing list of use cases for video streaming services.
The CDN architecture includes:
Source server: It stores the source data that the edge nodes retrieve. The source server is cloud storage or a dedicated server. CDN may include several such servers.
Edge Node: It is a geographically distributed local server. Edge nodes deliver cached content to users.
The content hosted on the source server is duplicated on the points of presence. The content is loaded from the nearest staging site when a user visits a site.
Without a CDN, site visitors request information and receive responses directly from the primary source.
This method increases the requirements on the source server: each request increases the load, and the user's location remote from the source increases the page load time.
The edge node is the main component of a CDN. It stores copies or cached versions of the website content received from the origin server, and the edge node provides the content on demand. Caching servers act as reverse proxies - connection points located in front of web servers.
Reverse proxies intercept requests, forward them to web servers, and relay responses to site visitors. They act as intermediaries for end-user requests.
In addition, origin shields can be added to the CDN architecture. They also function as a reverse proxy and protect the origin server from overloads. The primary function of the shielding server is to offload the source server from bursts of traffic. It proxies requests, adding another layer of protection.
There are several mechanisms by which a CDN works:
The content processed by the CDN is divided into two types.
Static content - files on the server that do not change during download: HTML files, images, videos.
Dynamic content is data that changes depending on the user. Dynamic content is affected by gender, browsing history, session time, location, user device, and other factors.
Dynamic data is generated by scripts that change the content of a web page. The same site will look different to users, making it personalized and more interactive. The most striking example is social media feeds that respond to users' likes, comments, and reposts.
Static and dynamic content load servers differently. Static content uses RAM, while dynamic content uses network speed. Both types of content on the same server create a double load.
There are two CDN tools to understand where the nearest edge node is located and to direct the user correctly.
The tool is based on an algorithm for converting an IP address into geo-coordinates. After the request arrives, the DNS server determines the user's location by IP address and finds the nearest point of presence.
The tool works with the BGP protocol, which transmits information about neighboring networks and their distance to them. Anycast is similar in function to GeoDNS.
Early CDNs were designed to help corporate customer websites withstand high, often unexpected traffic and DDoS attacks by distributing requests for content across their networks.
Current CDN security offerings go far beyond DDoS protection and include:
CDNs were built on edge computing functionality long before the term edge computing was coined. Today, they deliver content from edge data centers as close to customers as possible and video content to end-user devices. Cloud-based CDN players add functionality, such as computing power, to an increasingly intelligent edge network. The CDN architecture plays a leading role in supporting remote work.
The reason we mentioned above is not the only benefit of using a CDN in general, but one of several others. Here are some of the main reasons why services use CDN video solutions:
As we mentioned earlier, latency is one of the main reasons that video content delivery networks are as popular as they are today: they can help reduce content search time, improving the overall experience for users, no matter where they are.
No matter how good the original server provider was, it could only simultaneously serve hundreds or thousands of people worldwide, losing at least some of its peak content delivery rate - this indicator of network speed.
A video CDN can solve this problem by offloading the source server workload to multiple native servers, improving performance and speed of content delivery.
A bottleneck is a term that refers to a phenomenon that occurs when a single server receives multiple commands with performing many tasks simultaneously. It reduces the server's performance to a minimum and makes it even more difficult to process both current and future requests time.
This is still a regular occurrence in several different areas. Still, fortunately, video streaming services have managed to avoid it, mainly by leveraging the power of various CDNs to lighten the overall workload and help it run at top speed with more consistency.
The wide popularity of caching as a video CDN technology makes it even more attractive. The basic idea of caching is that the content in question is already stored on the CDN server when you try to retrieve it, making the whole process even faster and more convenient to the end user.
Suppose we are talking about video content delivery networks in particular. In that case, there are several features that any service in this area should have since we are talking about video-on-demand and streaming services. It requires much more effort in terms of delay and delivery speed.
Although it is not easy to regularly measure the speed of a CDN, it is still important to ensure that CDN servers can handle workloads of various shapes and sizes with minimal speed drops.
Most high-quality video CDN solutions on the market boast many servers, which is one of their main advantages, and this is completely normal. That's not all, of course, but the number of servers compared to the competition can indicate how scalable or fast the CDN solution in question can be.
This may not seem as important as the other prerequisites on this list. Still, analytics is crucial for the companies themselves - collecting information such as the number of views, the geographic distribution of your viewers, and so on.
The competition in the CDN market is as fierce as ever, and you can see that many different solutions are available - both individual and corporate. We have not touched on another important point here, namely the price of these solutions. The price of a CDN can vary greatly depending on the circumstances, including the intended use, geographic location, and so on.
If you host videos on Teyuto, you won't have to worry about managing and buying a cdn because everything is included. We ensure your content is delivered quickly, securely, and with minimal latency.