Another interesting alternative is the federated CDN;
a CDN, built by the content provider, which primarily
serves their content, but also other’s traffic along side.
The Federation model of CDN allows companies to
make an investment in infrastructure which will last for
years, even with growth, and will generate income
from the day it is installed. This way companies get a
fantastic return on investment while reducing the risk
of a large capital investment, all while building future
proof infrastructure and a better quality of experience
for their users.
This benefits both the content provider as well as the
CDN provider; the content provider gets the network
infrastructure they need with a much quicker Return
on Investment (ROI) and less exposure to their own
growth variability while the CDN provider gets access
to an expanded delivery network in areas where CDN
service demand is not high enough to justify the
capital outlay on its own.
Because the content provider has control of their
infrastructure, they can fully utilise their local
knowledge and relationships to get smaller, lower cost
PoPs out closer to the edge in places where demand is
high. Few CDN providers offer an option of such close
proximity to the edge because such deployments have
high installation and administration costs, and their
offerings are often targeted at areas with high capacity,
cheap backhaul, where small PoPs are not cost effective.
There is an option which helps solve these issues;
Hybrid CDN, where private infrastructure is
augmented by a global CDN service network, enabling
better service for non-local users as well as more
redundancy and resilience in the case of a failure.
This means the content provider can focus on
coverage of their local users, knowing their global
users will still get good service. The Hybrid CDN
model offers extra capacity at peak, meaning private
CDNs can be sized to easily serve every-day traffic,
but without so much worry about future growth or
special events. This allows the purchaser to tune their
capital expenditure and ongoing operational costs to serve
their needs in the most cost effective way.
Hybrid CDN rollout is a simple process: firstly,
hardware is purchased and provisioned in multiple
PoPs around a provider’s core users, to best provide
both bandwidth savings and quality of service. These
servers are then added to a private edge, separately
from the global CDN service edge. Custom routing
rules mean that traffic is routed to the best PoP,
primarily to the private edge, with out-of-area users served
from the global CDN and fail-overs so that traffic is served
even in the event of outages and changes to the network.
The customer will generally not pay for any traffic
delivered from their PoPs but will pay a fixed rate for traffic
delivered on their behalf from the global CDN service.
Traditionally, infrastructure would be sized to cope
with even the highest peaks, along with redundancy
which allows multiple components to fail and the
traffic still be delivered. This can lead to hardware
requirements well in excess of day to day needs,
something which can be avoided by sharing
disparities in traffic capacity and traffic actuality with
a global network.
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