We could start this story, “once upon a time” because it's kind of like that. A little bit fairytale, a little bit luck, and a lot of magic. The Limelight Technology Story is...
When Limelight was founded in 2001, the web was growing exponentially. Websites were coming online each day in the thousands. New and revolutionary web-based applications were sprouting up. Although still in their infancy, mobile devices like PDAs were becoming more popular. In general, more people, and more businesses, were jumping onto the web. It was clear there was a need to improve the user experience with digital content.
But the founders of Limelight saw something different. They saw the Internet not just changing the way people publish and consume textual content. They saw it unshackling people from their couches. They saw devices connecting to servers. They saw what we have today—an explosion in online video consumption, cord cutting, OTT. In short, the dominance of rich media.
If we were to put our finger on one thing that defines our technology story, it would be the network. The really big network. In fact, one of the top 10 biggest networks on the planet. That's saying something. And it didn't happen overnight. It's taken years and years to not only acquire the infrastructure, lease the wavelengths, and establish the footprint, but also to forge the relationships with other networks that help Limelight to deliver content.
Limelight is a leased-wavelength network. That means we control our own destiny. With our own telecommunications gear, we have effectively created a private network.
But the Limelight Technology Story isn't just about the network. Dumb pipes don't help deliver content. So even as we were building and expanding the physical network, we were integrating software into it. Some software was out of the box. Like Adobe Flash Media Server, Real Networks Helix Servers, Darwin Servers... all the specialized media servers we knew we'd need to deliver any kind of content to any kind of device. But some of the software was custom. Like Coca-Cola trade-secret custom. Things that were borne out of night-time sessions trying to make content delivery as efficient as possible... and while helping some of the world's biggest media companies. Blood, sweat, tears, pixie dust, serendipity. They are all in the core software that powers the network enabling us to deliver content to end users in the most intelligent and efficient way possible.
Of course, the Limelight Technology Story isn't all about what we've done. We had help. Lots of help from the outside. In the late 2000s, we began to acquire technology companies. First was Kiptronic who could render video and mobile ads into the correct format. Then there was Delve who provided us an online video platform so that our customers could both manage their videos and deliver them through us. Then there was AcceloWeb to give us front end optimization to augment our growing performance business. Over time, these pieces became a part of the bigger technology story. The Limelight Software Stack. The Limelight Content Delivery Platform. Call it what you will but it was nothing short of an immense machine designed to do one thing and do it well: deliver digital experiences.
A few years ago, some of our really smart engineers began to look at the way we moved content within our own network. What those engineers realized was that there was room for improvement. In that realization, our cloud storage offering was born and soon our Co-founder and CTO, Nathan Raciborski, realized that it was much more than just a way to help us become more efficient. It was a product.
And so we began a multi-year build out, improving the cloud storage software, making it better than what was available in the market (by integrating policies so that customers could control how the storage acted with their content), integrating right into the edge of the network to provide delivery performance improvement when there was a cache miss.
Today this cloud storage provides storage for up to 31 petabytes of content... and it continues to grow.
Where are we now? We are probably closer to the original vision than we've ever been because we recognize that the Internet isn't just about webpages, or just about video, or just about games. It's about all of them combined. It's about digital experiences. All of our software helps companies Orchestrate awesome digital experiences. Their webpages are accelerated. Their video screams. Through optimization carried out over a decade, we've managed to squeeze latency out of every step—first, middle, and last mile—so that the customers of our customers don't have to wait to click on that button or engage with that video content... on any device, anywhere in the world.
The Limelight Technology Story is far from over. In fact, we could probably say it's really only just begun. The Internet is under constant transformation. New devices are being connected, new content is being developed, and user behavior is evolving every day. We continue to push the envelope in tuning the network hardware and optimizing the software so that we can deliver digital experiences not just for today's users, but tomorrow's as well.
A Limelight Networks representative will be happy to answer questions about Limelight Networks products and services.