To provide the best possible streaming video experience 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 video workflow and business requirements, you must first evaluate your unique needs. The following provides guidance for identifying the key considerations and questions to ask.
You want to grow your audience, yet the larger you scale the more difficult the technical and businesses challenges become. Based on extensive experience helping companies scale their streaming video delivery, here are a few of the factors you should assess first.
It’s important to choose a CDN that has high-capacity Points of Presence (PoPs) in the areas where your audience is located. The CDN should have peering agreements with the local Internet Service Providers (ISPs) that serve your audience, in order to eliminate “last-mile” bottlenecks between the CDN and the user’s internet connection.
If you are licensing content, you will need to enforce rights agreements – look for a CDN with integrated DRM supporting Google, Microsoft and Apple systems. To protect content from being intercepted in transit, choose a CDN that fully supports TLS/SSL encryption. To sustain uptime and performance when under attack, look for a CDN with DDoS protection and on-network attack scrubbing. Look for WAF protection to secure web applications against theft of viewers’ private information.
The two broad categories of streaming video workflow are live streaming and video-on-demand.
Streaming of live events, games and other content is challenging and gets more challenging with scale. The popular method of “live” streaming in use today, chunk streaming, introduces delays that are unacceptable for some time-sensitive applications. As the audience grows, quality can suffer and some users can be denied access. To easily reach as many viewers as possible, consider the following:
Today’s streaming video audience expects an instant response and has no tolerance for delays or rebuffers. These expectations don’t change at peak times of demand when a large number of users may be accessing a variety of titles.
To manage video content and prepare it for distribution to various media devices, most businesses choose an online video platform (OVP) that is purpose-built for day-to-day management of streaming video operations.
If you’re just starting out, you may find that a turnkey solution from an experienced full-service CDN vendor is the fastest path to success. If you already have some capabilities but lack a full end-to-end solution, you will need to integrate additional capabilities to fill the gaps in your solution. Here are some further insights to help.
To ensure success, it’s critical to understand these fundamentals. At this stage, sound advice from an experienced CDN can be extremely helpful. Benefit from their experience.
Your streaming video solution should provide viewers with a high-quality online viewing experience and offer easy-to-manage, cost-effective operations. Achieving these desired results typically requires many of the capabilities from the checklist above. You may choose to develop and implement the solution in-house, leverage professional services, or choose a turnkey solution from a full-service CDN.
When the system is experiencing issues, every minute matters. To avoid downtime, ensure that your CDN can provide prompt support.
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, with expertise that can dramatically streamline solutions.
The information in this guide is intended to help you move forward in your process of choosing the best CDN for your video delivery. Understand the fundamentals, whether you are doing live streaming, on-demand or both. Know the trends and engage with partners you can trust. Assess your current capabilities and your gaps. Do you need a high-performance turnkey solution, à la carte products and services to complement your current capabilities, or do you simply need fast transport for your existing workflow? Look for a CDN with expertise in video delivery that has the services you need and can support your transition with expert assistance. 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. Allow us to demonstrate the quality of Limelight’s solutions and the commitment of every person to delivering the best experience first, for you and your customers, 24/7/365.
Learn more at www.limelight.com/free-trial.