Content Delivery Network: Current Challenges and the Promising Future

By CIOReview | Friday, July 7, 2017
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Over the years, the journey of CDN from legacy systems to the cloud has massively improved the efficiency of content delivery and service capabilities of web applications and storage. Due to its ability to sense the availability of servers and accordingly divert contents, CDNs help online assets to be distributed across diverse regions. The result obtained is minimized latency, enhanced user experience and hence, customer satisfaction.

Moreover, as CDNs can offer instant user redirection, they can assure 100 percent server availability even in the event of power failures or when there are any network and hardware issue associated with the system. So, the popularity gained by CDN over the years is unarguably justified.

However, a primary challenge faced by vendors with respect to CDN solutions in the global CDN market is the high prices associated with it. These solutions are available via third-party vendors, who charge more than a nominal fee for the services they offer.

Many content delivery providers claim to offer the fastest delivery speeds, among which some are valid while others being little more than marketing hype. If you want to target the local market, some might find them to be ineffective. First, you need to know that, sometimes, hosting services (including VPS and dedicated server) are not designed for faster delivery of static content. Still, as CDNs ensure best possible speedy delivery of static content across different geographical areas, its flair of transferring data locally cannot be overlooked.

The CDNs of today

The first-gen CDNs were focused on performance, the second-gen focused on availability alongside performance, and the current generation of CDNs stands for virtually guaranteed availability, advanced security, and of course incredible performance support. With technology growing every passing day, their quality has gone up, and the price has come under control. A high-quality CDN is now attainable for anyone.

Are all CDNs the same? No, the CDN picked by you greatly matters, and the benefits vary accordingly. The most effective CDN for a website would be the one closest to your users. Moreover, latency can vary with different providers.

For e.g. site loading speed, nowadays, is an important factor for SEO. To gauge that, Google has separately published the PageSpeed Insights tool, which will also identify ways to make the site faster and mobile-friendly. In deep sense, site speed is crucial for platforms such as e-commerce. There, all buying decisions happen in a split second. Often time, potential buyers may exit the site if an e-commerce site is not loaded fast enough, resulting in loss of sales. And, sales loss will be the last wish of business owners. Careful assessment of a provider becomes essential at this part.

The Upcoming Content Delivery Market

A key trend followed by larger players of CDN focuses importantly on two things: enhanced geographical presence, and expansion of the customer base. They do it by entering into strategic partnerships, mergers, and acquisitions, which also help them improve broadband infrastructure while offering an increased consumption rate of rich media content.

The other new trends and ideas that can be expected in the future with regard to CDNs would be: storage, scalability of dynamic content, deployment of market mechanisms, the mobility of content delivery, and much more.

As we know, IaaS is a form of cloud computing that is majorly scalable and adjustable on-demand and already a massive industry. It hosts software, hardware, servers, storage, and other infrastructure components for its clients and allows organizations to reduce IT costs and burdens massively. A large handful of Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) components are also in the league to beat the latency problem of future CDN solutions.

In the present online environment, CDN vendors are left with just two choices—either keep up with the market competition or take a walk out.