To provide the best possible customer experiences that will increase revenue and customer satisfaction, many organizations engage the services of a Content Delivery Network (CDN). However, to choose the right CDN for your workflow and business requirements, you must first evaluate your unique needs. The following provides guidance for identifying the key considerations and questions to ask.
Every application brings unique challenges to online delivery. In choosing a CDN, the best decisions result from understanding the properties that are required in solving those challenges and the key metrics that describe those properties. While not exhaustive, here are some common content delivery applications and what to look for.
Geography can play a major role in content delivery.
It’s important to choose a CDN that has Points of Presence (PoPs) in the areas where your audience is located. Each PoP should have adequate egress capacity to ensure your audience receives the fastest possible experience. The CDN should also have peering agreements with the local Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and last-mile networks that serve your audience, in order to eliminate “last-mile” bottlenecks between the CDN and the user’s internet connection.
When users request content that is not already cached, the CDN must retrieve content from origin storage servers, wherever they are located. To ensure the fastest content delivery on cache miss, choose a CDN that offers multi-region storage replication and is able to bypass internet congestion that can impede content retrieval.
CDNs offer a wide range of capabilities. Your business requirements should drive the capabilities you need.
Choose a CDN that is designed to support your specific workflow.
To protect content from being intercepted in transit, choose a CDN that fully supports TLS/SSL encryption across its entire network. A CDN with DDoS protection integrated into the same network that is used to deliver traffic will provide the fastest performance when under attack. If you are delivering video content, look for a CDN with integrated DRM and content protection.
If you require the video content management capabilities of an Online Video Platform (OVP), consider choosing a CDN with integrated OVP capabilities to eliminate the complexity of using separate systems to manage and deliver your video content. To reach the maximum number of viewers and simplify the creation of content in multiple streaming formats, look for a CDN with integrated transcoding and transmuxing that can take a single input file and create multiple different output formats and bitrates on demand.
Whether you are integrating a CDN for the first time, transitioning to a new CDN, or implementing a multi-CDN strategy, a successful implementation requires planning.
Delivering content via a CDN has many dimensions, and the learning curve can be steep. Finding a CDN partner who can help you craft the right solution and phased deployment strategy is critical to your success.
Using multiple CDNs and balancing the load among them can provide a range of business benefits. When transitioning from one CDN to another, ensuring uninterrupted service requires an orderly ramp-up of the new CDN and ramp-down of the old one.
Finding a CDN partner who is able to provide the ongoing support and services you need after you start delivering content can be critical in ensuring maximum uptime and efficient traffic operations, and helping you respond to changing business needs.
Avoiding downtime will sometimes require support from your CDN provider.
To ensure efficient day-to-day operations, you will need to routinely update your CDN configuration to meet your changing requirements.
When implementing new capabilities that allow your business to respond to changing requirements, experienced assistance can be invaluable. Some CDN providers have experts available that can act as an extension of your team.
Choosing the right CDN begins with determining the capabilities that are most important for your specific workflow and which vendors are best suited to meeting your needs. An implementation plan needs to be developed that will ensure an efficient and timely deployment with minimal impact on your operations. Support and implementation services are critical to your ongoing success and should also be an important element of the decision-making process. By considering all of these elements during the vendor-selection process, you will be able to find the right partner for your long-term success.
If you are considering CDN services, Limelight invites you to Request a Free Trial so we can show you why at Limelight, every person is committed to delivering the best experience first, for you and your customers, 24/7/365.
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Whether you are delivering videos, web content, music, software or games, providing consistent, high-quality online experiences is critical to your success. A CDN can help you achieve that goal. Be confident you are choosing the right solution for your business, view our on-demand webcast.