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Pål Torgersen By Pål Torgersen • May 10, 2017

CDN vs Multi-CDN - Content Delivery Networks Explained

Delivery is the process of making a video or live stream available for playback online for the end user. CDN stands for Content Delivery Network and is a network of geographically distributed servers. CDNs are not only used for videos, but for all kinds of assets online (websites, downloads, images etc). In the early days, text based web content was usually served from one server to all clients. Single server distribution is not a sustainable solution for the rich web content we consume today, with high resolution images, music, videos etc. Adding more servers and load balancing could partly solve the problem, but this wouldn’t be a sustainable solution in terms of scalability.

SYNQ Video Content Delivery Network Illustration

This is where CDNs come in. By utilizing distributed proxy/caching servers placed in data centers all over the world, it is possible to deliver content efficiently without straining the origin servers (the location where the original files or assets are stored). A CDN delivers the content directly from the proxy server closest to the end user. This reduces latency, load times and increases the potential transfer speeds. CDNs also cache files locally for the next end user that requests the same content from the same location, contributing to even faster load times.

A CDN between the end users and the original storage location contributes to the origin not being overwhelmed by direct requests from users. Since a CDN is distributed, it can deliver content to multiple users simultaneously. This is what allows content to go viral without systems crashing due to the heavy load. So, when you request a video through an app or web service powered by the SYNQ Video API, it is not served by us directly but from a CDN server located close to you. Cutting distance is cutting latency.

Instead of just delivering videos or live streams from a single CDN, we wanted to take our offering to the next level. By working together with Cedexis, and utilizing their global traffic management technology we now offer Multi-CDN. That means that we currently serve our content through three (and more to come) different CDNs. The increased number of PoPs (Points of Presence) increase the possibility that there is a server close to a larger percentage of end users. Consequently, latency is reduced and the end user experience is improved. We are also more resilient if there are larger incidents that degrade network performance, or one of the CDNs experience issues. We achieve this by using Cedexis Openmix, a service that constantly monitors the performance of CDNs at locations all over the world. When an end user requests a video, the request is routed to the CDN that has the optimal performance at that location. This is called DNS routing.

Today our content is served from three content delivery networks:

Video_API_EdgeCast

Video_API_Highwinds

Video_API_LeaseWeb


We made this coverage map so that you can see all the different PoPs available through the SYNQ Video API:

 

What does this mean for you as a customer of SYNQ?

  • Enterprise grade content delivery
  • Scalability
  • Low latency
  • Increased reliability
  • Access to global delivery networks
  • Easy access to performance data

That's it!   

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