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Varnish Software 2016 Predictions: The DIY CDN

Virtualization and Cloud executives share their predictions for 2016.  Read them in this 8th Annual VMblog.com series exclusive.

Contributed by Lars Larsson, CEO, Varnish Software

2016 Prediction: The DIY CDN

At Varnish Software we predict that 2016 will be the year that the "do-it-yourself" content delivery network (DIY CDN) moves into the mainstream. In fact, we expect the number of DIY CDNs to grow to at least 10,000 by 2020.

What is driving companies to take over the management of their CDN traffic themselves?

According to a Bloomberg interview with Akamai CEO Tom Leighton,  the trend toward organizations going in-house with building their own content delivery networks is gaining momentum.. Mr Leighton says that he is not worried for the future, citing the fact that their largest customers have already been using DIY CDNs for 10 years. That may be true, but the world has changed quite a lot over that past 10 years and so have the requirements for content distribution.

What worked ten years ago

Ten years ago it was fine to have CDNs caching content and allowing an update time of 10-60 minutes before the organization could be sure that all its servers had received updated content. Today it is not. If a company wants to run a true online business, it must be able to update all content in its CDN within milliseconds. Any technical limitations will hamper both its ability to pursue business development opportunities and customer expectations. And that will not fly in 2016.

Ten years ago launching an internal CDN was not something anyone could do. It was rocket science. Today, most organizations are able to launch their own CDN from scratch based on standard components and resources in the cloud in a matter of days, or even hours if they have done some preparation.

Ten years ago, in order to get as close to its customers as possible, a company needed to be able to distribute all its static content out to every corner of the world. With increasing traffic and the number of edge CDN users who may get significant traffic to their origin servers, using this traditional approach today can be very expensive.

The benefits of building an internal CDN

Let's look at the three factors that will compel companies to build their own CDN:

Cost:  As traffic costs have plummeted, CDN pricing hasn't quite been able to follow. This is especially true if a company wants features, such as TLS (transport layer security) or WAF (web application firewalls), in its distribution.

Control: With a public CDN, organizations must rely on someone else's infrastructure to deliver their content. At Varnish Software, we commonly see content that is very proprietary in nature: internal training videos, car firmware, app content, etc. Public CDNs are designed to distribute content to the public. Within a private CDN architecture, the organization is free to set its own arbitrary rules deciding who has access to the content and who doesn't.

Performance:  An internal CDN will allow organizations to dedicate the resources needed to deliver content in a high-performance manner, such as guaranteeing that content always be served out of memory.

Disrupting the way companies manage content distribution

In 2016, there will be many different scenarios for organizations that want to tailor the way they distribute digital content. Different requirements will continue to emerge, as we move into the next phase of the digital revolution. Cost is, of course, a very important driver, needless to say, and with an increasing number of transactions on the internet combined with larger information objects being distributed, cost per transaction will matter even more.

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About the Author

 

CEO, Varnish Software, Norway

Lars Larsson is the CEO of Varnish Software, the company behind the open source web accelerator Varnish Cache. Compared to regular applications servers and content management systems, Varnish is often thousands of times faster, and since Varnish is very flexible and completely programmable it will allow you to have full control over the whole content delivery process.

Lars has near 20 years of CxO experience developing business models and Professional Services Concepts with a focus on bringing unique value to enterprise customers who base their mission critical operations on Open Source Software.

Lars has been a part of the Varnish Software Board and Management team since the company was founded in 2010. Prior to that Lars co-founded the Scandinavia-based System Integrator Redpill Linpro Group in 2003.

Published Tuesday, November 24, 2015 6:25 AM by David Marshall
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