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Ensuring quality content delivery with CDN

Video consumption increased significantly over the past two years when people are cooped up in their homes because of the lockdowns. In 2020 along, a few months after the COVID-19 pandemic started, YouTube reached 40 million views.

The surge in video and other content consumption would have caused loading delays and lags. With the advent of higher resolution displays across devices and platforms, not many people will be able to enjoy this advanced streaming quality.

The role of content delivery networks (CDN) has never been more pronounced than during the lockdowns when internet usage skyrocketed.

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“The massive increase in consumer video viewing and online shopping during the pandemic was only possible because CDNs quickly scaled up their capacity to deliver all this increase in traffic,” said Edwin Koh, regional director, Southeast Asia and Australia and New Zealand, at Limelight Networks, in an email interview with Back End News. “If it wasn’t for CDNs, consumers would have experienced very slow e-commerce online shopping experiences and difficulty accessing their favorite video content.”

Koh explained that CDNs act as distributed servers that deliver digital content such as video to a user without interruption. This method minimizes latency, or slow response times, and eases the traffic load on a customer’s own network.

Edwin Koh, regional director, Southeast Asia and Australia and New Zealand, at Limelight Networks

Video content

“CDNs also provide protection against large traffic surges, such as when viewers check game scores online or watch a live streaming event,” he said.

As online content consumption shows no signs of slowing down — but instead experiencing an unimaginable surge — CDN is expected to play a key role in ensuring uninterrupted and high-quality content delivery.

According to Koh, the industries that need the most CDN support include OTT video, Linear Broadcast, online retail and e-commerce, and financial or banking that use accompanying videos, interactive websites, and live video shopping.

“What differentiates CDNs is that organizations that use CDNs have a lot of control over the configuration of the CDN services they use, and can monitor the performance of the traffic that the CDN is delivering,” Koh said. “CDNs allow a lot of interactivity between the organizations delivering their digital content, and the CDN network operations center, especially for live video events.”

Digital content

Today’s version of CDNs integrates the capabilities brands need to distribute all types of digital content to their users. The typical services include live and on-demand video delivery, video formatting for any viewing device, content delivery of web applications, and a suite of security protection against data theft, web application, and Bot attacks on the web infrastructure.

“Plus, top-tier CDNs have global reach and scale to handle massive amounts of traffic and spikes,” Koh said. “Because today’s CDNs have such a broad range of capabilities, the configuration of CDN services can be complex, especially for online video delivery. Limelight (Edgio) addresses these challenges by offering free 24/7/365 expert support services to assist in the configuration of CDN services, and Advances Services Architects to consult with the organization’s staff about the optimum way to implement CDN services, and as additional capabilities are added, advising and helping with expert advice.”

Koh emphasized that brands can maximize their presence with CDN because it can support the increase in online video consumption, growth in e-commerce, and the massive use of social media platforms.


“Most of the industry forecasts are for the robust growth of all types of digital asset traffic to continue at least through 2025,” Koh said. “Along with this growth will be adding more sophisticated cybersecurity measures to protect data.”

At the back end, Koh explained that current website workflows can be streamlined further with the integration of edge logic.

“If you look at the way CDNs are architected, most of the infrastructure is distributed around the world in locations where users are,” he said. “All the compute power of CDNs is located in these edge Points-of-Presence (PoPs). So by leveraging this massive amount of compute resources at the edges of the CDN there are two benefits. The first is that computing services at the edge can respond quickly because they are close to where the users are — the latency of responses is lower. The other benefit is by keeping the compute local, reduces the amount of traffic compared to using centralized compute resources.”

Limelight Networks’ Layer0 webCDN workflows promise to accelerate web performance by intelligently pre-caching web content in user’s browsers so that they have instant responses as they search on a website. Retailers and ecommerce organizations are realizing significant increases in online ordering and eliminating abandoned shopping carts. Some online retailers have seen up to 50% revenue increases.

For the Asia Pacific (APAC), which is a focus region for the company, Koh said Limelight (Edgio) is planning on adding substantial capacity this yaer. APAC is a focus region for us.

“The added capacity will likely be in the range of 25% up to over 40% depending on the traffic growth we observe.” he said.

Limelight Networks provides a content delivery network service, used for delivery of digital media content and software. As of February 2020, the company’s network has more than 130 points-of-presence and delivers with more than 70 Terabits per second of egress capacity across the globe.