Tulix: A New
Kind of CDN
Tulix is a streaming solutions company that aims
to deliver only the highest quality streams globally.
Tulix was founded by 2 PhDs who have built the Tulix
CDN from the ground up for the optimal live streaming
experience. The TulixCDN is different from traditional
CDNs, in that the TulixCDN adopts a controlled
environment when delivering streams worldwide.
When explaining how our CDN functions to someone
for the first time, whether to a potential customer or
a seasoned industry veteran, the initial reaction is
frequently a puzzled stare. Those with some familiarity
with how CDNs function instantly steer the conversation
to points of presence (POPs). Inevitably, we’re asked
how many POPs we have and where our edge servers are
located, the t wo metrics that seem to be the most popular
means of gauging the quality of a CDN at first glance.
However, our unique CDN was built on an infrastructure
with no POPs at all, and though we have added and are
continuing to add servers in various locations, the core
of the Tulix CDN is a centralized distribution system
housed in our data centers in Atlanta, Georgia.
Our lack of POPs is often met with incredulity until
we explain why we chose to forgo the traditional CDN
model in building our infrastructure and delivery
network. Even if our explanation isn’t quite understood,
a demonstration and test of stream delivery using our
CDN is always enough to persuade even the most staunch
doubters that it not only works, but shows consistently
higher stability and quality than POP-based alternatives.
Our decision to build a centralized distribution system
was not an accident, but a very deliberate and systematic
effort to build a highly scalable and global CDN, optimal
for live stream delivery.
One of the key distinguishing elements of live streams
is that they have to be delivered immediately from source
to viewer. There is no caching, no progressive download,
and any interruptions bet ween the origin and destination
of a live stream will be noticeable to the viewer. In the
traditional model of POP-based delivery, this allows for
three potential points of failure, at least from a networking
standpoint. If any of the connections bet ween source and
ingest, ingest and edge server, or edge server and viewer is
poor, that viewer will receive a choppy stream in the best
case or no stream at all in the worst.
As Tulix is continuously exploring ways to improve
and provide high-quality streams worldwide, our CDN
also uses two independent route optimization systems
to dynamically assess the connection of a viewer to
our streaming servers in Atlanta, and we are in the
process of adding a third. The route optimizers choose