5 Problems a Global CDN Solves for Streaming Video, Part 1 – Latency
Even before 2020 showed its true, crazy coronavirus colors, many Media and Entertainment companies were already increasing their focus and financial investments in streaming video. Now, with people staying closer to home and streaming service usage exploding across nearly all age cohorts, these services will need to accelerate their plans further, while still ensuring a flawless experience, in order to keep up with where and how their audiences experience content.
And even more importantly – though consumers currently have a bit more time on their hands, this trend is unlikely to continue at the same rate post-pandemic. As soon as possible, and the timing may vary worldwide, people will want to get back out into the real world and actually see and experience things for themselves again. Now is the ideal time to prepare as many ways as possible to ensure audience retention before this expansion in demand contracts and squeezes out any excess.
All types of streaming video, including video-on-demand (VOD) and live event services, benefit significantly from a strong Content Delivery Network (CDN) strategy; this is especially true when the Points-of-Presence (PoPs) are located around the globe at the Edge of the internet and closer to viewers. In this series, we’ll discuss five problems a CDN that caches content at the edge locations solves for streaming video.
- Reduced Latency
- Protecting the Origin
- Customizing Content Delivery
- Scalability and Cost Reduction
- Security and Attack Impact Mitigation
In this post, we’ll cover problem #1, reducing latency, in more detail.
Many things can impact the quality of experience (QoE) for viewers, but latency is now universally unacceptable for streaming video on any device. Consumers expect to hit “go” and quickly be transported to their content. They consciously, and possibly somewhat subconsciously, expect to never need to consider what’s happening on the backend to bring them their movie, TV show, or live event, even if it’s coming from halfway around the world.
To make this magic happen, it’s best to use a CDN that caches your most recently and frequently requested content in edge locations close to where the content is being demanded. This way, content can be delivered to end-users more quickly and reliably, for a superior end-user experience and more efficient operations. To take this idea one step further, a private network with a private backbone, rather than a public datacenter which can also experience demand surges but in a way that compounds latency issues exponentially, is the best approach.
By caching the content at CDN PoPs around the globe, you also reduce the number of hits that have to go round trip back to the origin when content is requested. When usage surges, the requestor is far away from the origin geographically, or both, the potential response time can be reduced by up to 90% (example: 200ms vs. 20ms). Additionally, peering relationships through an edge-based CDN with network providers can also expand reach and increase delivery speed.
Protecting the Origin
Additionally, your origin can be protected from being overloaded with requests, day or night, using the PoPs as a mid-tier caching layer, or intermediary, between your user and where you have the content stored. This technology, called Origin Shield, uses advanced load balancing capabilities to aggregate the requests, create the most direct path to the origin, equally distribute the total volume, and even provide reliable dynamic failover options if necessary. Ultimately, this approach optimizes your bandwidth, and quickly reduces related costs, while fulfilling requests as rapidly and seamlessly as possible.
Though it may be difficult to anticipate precisely when latency may be an issue, establishing a strong foundation for your content’s global delivery at the Edge will help ensure that your customers never have to wonder how the magic happens.
Let us help you create a flawless experience at the Edge.
- Cut Media Workload Latency and Costs with Edge Computing
- How to Microservice Your Video Streaming Workflow at the Edge
- What is Content Caching?
, Video streaming subscriptions have gone up across nearly all age cohorts, with Gen Z’s increasing from 90% to 94% penetration. Boomers saw the most significant jump, with the proportion of subscription holders rising from 54% to 69% since the pandemic began. The Mature cohort saw their video subscriptions fall by 3 points to 41%, however. Source: Consulting.us