Yes, we build web applications…and there are plenty of them around. Some are or will be presented here on MyTestBox.com. Now, if we hit the jackpot and our application becomes very popular, traffic goes up, and our servers are brought down by the hordes of people coming to our website. What do we do then?
Of course, I am not talking here about the kind of traffic Digg, Yahoo Buzz or other social media sites can bring to a website, which is temporary overnight traffic, or a website which uses cloud computing like Amazon EC2 service, MediaTemple Grid Service or Mosso Cloud Hosting service.
I am talking about traffic that consistently increases over time as the service achieves success. Google.com, Yahoo.com, Myspace.com, Facebook.com, Plentyoffish.com, Linkedin.com, Youtube.com and others are examples of services which have constant high traffic.
Knowing that users want speed from their applications, these services will always use a Content Delivery Network (CDN) to deliver that speed.
What is a Content Delivery Network?
A Content Delivery Network (CDN) is a collection of web servers distributed across multiple locations to deliver content more efficiently to users. The server selected for delivering content to a specific user is typically based on a measure of network proximity. For example, the server with the fewest network hops or the server with the quickest response time is chosen. This will help scaling a web application by taking a part of the load from the service servers.
You can find more about CDNs here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Content_Delivery_Network
Some large services use their own Content Delivery Networks, but sometimes it is more effective to use a third-party CDN provider. Plentyoffish.com, for example, uses a third-party CDN (it can’t afford to have its own CDN). Both Myspace.com and Friendster.com also use a CDN.
You can see in the image below how Peer1 Networks from Canada has its own CDN setup. This kind of setup is applicable to most of the Content Delivery Networks infrastructure.
There’s an inflation of services which offer content delivery solutions and venture capitalists still pump money into more CDN solutions.
Below is a comprehensive list of Content Delivery Networks (CDN) around the globe (in no particular order):
- Akamai, the 800-pound gorilla of Content Delivery Networks and the company that made CDNs famous with a record-setting IPO. It’s core offering is distribution services (both http content and streaming media), and it has recently unbundled other services, including network monitoring and geographic targeting. In April 2000, Akamai purchased InterVu; in 2005, Akamai purchased Speedera, and in 2007, Netli. It has an impressive list of customers, including some big names: (Adobe, Myspace, Monster, NBA, BestBuy, Cabela’s, Reuters, Verizon, Yahoo, IBM, US Airforce, Travelocity, Sony, CNET, NTT, AMD, NASA, etc.)
- Limelight Networks offers an advanced Content Delivery Network for Internet distribution of high-bandwidth media such as video, music, games, and downloads. It also has some big name customers (Amazon, Akimbo, iFilm, MSNBC. LonelyPlanet, Valve, VideoJug, etc)
- EdgeCast is a Content Delivery Network offering video, games, music, content, and live events solutions all for the same low price. It also provides website acceleration for increasing web site performance and speeding up page load times, as well as advanced reporting and analytics. It seems it is preferred by some Web 2.0 companies (Jaxtr, Mashable, Blip.tv, Mahalo, etc).
- CDNetworks is the Asia’s largest CDN service provider and provides content acceleration with a global network of POPs. Their customers includes Toyota, K2Network, Nexon, Megastudy, NCSoft, etc.
- Amazon Web Services not only offers cloud computing and database but also storage. It uses the Amazon powerful infrastructure. The customers are too many to be listed here.
- BitGravity is a Content Distribution Network, established in 2006, and provides services for the delivery of audio, video, software, and advertising. It built the first CDN for Interactive Broadcasting, which is optimized to deliver affordable, HD-quality video on demand, live broadcasts, and interactive applications for massive audiences on the Internet.
- Peer1 has a unique Rapid Edge technology which provides global load balancing across its network of caches with on-demand propagation. Plentyoffish.com is one of their customers. Actually, Plentyoffish.com uses Akamai CDN for image delivering.
- UpStreamNetworks is a division of ServePath (West Coast’s premier managed hosting provider) and Silicon Valley’s leader in Windows and Flash streaming.
- ATT Intelligent Content Distribution is a network-based Content Delivery Network service that replicates information across the Internet. The content is replicated across multiple sites and on multiple servers within a single node. These service nodes are connected through AT&T’s global IP network and are located in AT&T Global Internet Data Centers and Service Node Routing Centers.
- GridNetworks provides the underlying technology to streams high-quality television content over the internet and into homes. Its architecture is part traditional CDN, part peer-to-peer (P2P) network.
- MoveNetworks is using Microsoft’s Silverlight to stream HD quality television. ABC, Discovery Channel, Fox, Televisa, ESPN360, Oprah are some of their customers.
- EdgeStream provides video delivery solutions (high definition), including a complete software platform from client to server and a distributed and fault-tolerant CDN network.
- Panther Express offers video, audio, graphics, and games content delivery solution at affordable rates. They’ve also implemented the bandwidth throttling, which limit the rate that the browser downloads the video, saving bandwidth costs. StudiVZ, the German Facebook clone and one of the busiest European social networking sites, is a Panther customer. LiveJournal, mochi Media are some of their other customers.
- BroadMedia is a premier Japanese Content Delivery Network specialized in video, games, broadcasting and mobile services.
- InterNap leverages their Performance IPTM solution to quickly and securely stream and distribute video, audio, advertising and software to audiences across the globe through strategically located high-capacity data centers. They bought VitalStream CDN in 2007. Their customers includes Diesel, Saatchi & Saatchi, Ice.com, PlanetVU, MyStack.
- Digital Fountain is specialized in high quality video content delivery.
- Level3 offers full suite of scalable CDN services and gives you access to the customizable services you need from a single, trusted provider.
- Mirror Image provides a proven Content Delivery Network for digital media that ensures the best possible user experience while enabling companies to minimize their website infrastructure investment and operational costs. Forbes, NOAA, Pacific Sunwear, Ansari X Prize foundation, adECN are among Mirror Image customers.
- NaviSite supports the complete Content Delivery chain: from hosting, transcoding, and content publishing to content delivery and reporting (electronic file delivery, content streaming, website acceleration, online video publishing platform).
- Accelia is another distributed content delivery service for static and streaming content focused mainly in Japan.
- SimpleCDN is specialized in delivery of software files, video and images (pay per file). It provides an advanced global content delivery platform all for one price, without complicated usage and storage charges, contracts or long setup times.
- CacheFly technology uses Anycast to instruct carriers routers to make connections to the best available point-of-presence for the end user. By combining anycast with their unprecedented international footprint, CacheFly has built the next-generation in Content Delivery Network. They specialize in software downloads, website performance, streaming media, podcasting. This seem to be another CDN preferred by some Web 2.0 companies: Revision3, Ars Technica, Pluck, BetaNews.
- Nirvanix is a premier Storage Delivery Network (SDN), Amazon S3 equivalent. The SDN is powered by Nirvanix’s patent pending Internet Media File System (IMFS), a clustered file system that includes all of Nirvanix’s globally distributed storage nodes under one namespace. Axentra and Free Drive are some of their customers.
- Solid State Networks is a hybrid peer-to-peer (P2P) and HTTP Content Delivery Network specialized in software, video and games (especially games) delivery. Acclaim, Zyon Games, Alchemic Dream are some of its customers.
- NTT Communications offers SCD (Smart Content Delivery) technology which uses three components (load balancing, global load balancing, reverse-proxy caching) to work together for faster download times, faster connections, steady video streams and reliable managed services delivered across your Internet solution.
- Swarmcast is a CDN specialized in video delivery only (HD video hosting, streaming, live events, downloads).
- BitTorrent is a P2P (peer-to-peer) content delivery solution. BitTorrent DNATM is a content delivery service that uses a secure, private, managed peer network to power faster, more reliable, more efficient delivery of richer content. BitTorrent DNA works with your existing CDN or origin servers, seamlessly accelerating your downloads or HTTP media streams. BitTorrent DNA enables websites to seamlessly add the speed and efficiency of patented BitTorrent technology to their current content delivery infrastructure, requiring no changes to their current Content Delivery Network (CDN) or hardware in the origin infrastructure.
- Verisign Mobile Content Delivery Network can help content providers to deliver and bill for nearly any type of mobile content and messaging using a distribution network for mobile media and applications that reaches over 2 billion wireless subscribers throughout North America, Europe, and other countries.
- Technicolor is a purpose-built network for large object delivery, engineered from the ground up to Microsoft’s exacting standards for long form and HD content delivery. Big names like Warner Bros, Walmart, Hitachi, Paramount, Imax, Xbox Live, EMI, National Geographic, Microsoft, NBC Universal are among their clients.
- Ignite provides the industry’s most secure and scalable Content Delivery Solution, enabling customers to efficiently publish, deliver, and manage digital assets – from rich media content for training or communications to software patches and virus updates – to anyone, anywhere, at any time. Canon, Miller, Huntington, Sabre Holdings, Accenture, RadioShack are Ignite’s customers.
- Coral is a free peer-to-peer content distribution network, comprised of a world-wide network of web proxies and nameservers. It allows a user to run a web site that offers high performance and meets huge demand, all for the price of a $50/month cable modem. They have 260 servers worldwide, for now. Looks like they have a long list of users.
- HighWinds is leveraging the company’s high-performance RollingThunder™ network and user-friendly StrikeTracker™ media manager and reporting dashboard to globally deliver content, videos, live events and other media. It sets the pace among CDNs by offering advantages in data center peering, real-time analytics, instant account provisioning, complete content control and massive scalability. It seems also that it provide services to some other CDN companies like Technicolor, Solid State Networks.
- SoftLayer is a hosting company which also offers CDN services. It uses a system of servers running advanced software for organizing, storing, and streaming website content to end-users. Rather than serving content directly from the host server to the end-user, CDNLayer moves content from the host server to a node that is geographically closer to the end-user.
- Voxel developed VoxCAST and is a high performance Content Delivery Network (CDN) that enables lightning-fast global distribution of your static content (images, file downloads, etc), live audio/video streams and bandwidth-hungry applications. Content can be redirected to use VoxCAST through either specifically-formed URL’s (i.e. cdn.yoursite.com), whole-site caching, or by implementing Voxel’s mod_cdn, an Open Source Apache module that can be configured to offload appropriate content during specific times or load levels. PerezHilton, AirAmerica, Hasbro, Accona, The New York Observer are some of its clients.
- CoBlitz provides a means to scalably serve large files over an HTTP content distribution network. It requires no modification of clients or servers, since all of the necessary support is located on the content distribution network itself. While it is built using the CoDeeN network running on PlanetLab, it does not require you to actively use CoDeeN or to join PlanetLab. You add the prefix http://coblitz.codeen.org/ to the URL you want to serve, and CoBlitz does the rest. For the time being the service is free. Some restrictions apply though: no files smaller than 100KB or larger than 20GB are served for the general public.
- Velocix (formerly known as CacheLogic) is one of the world’s leading Digital Asset Delivery Network, a new generation CDN (Content Delivery Network) designed to meet the rich media needs of the 21st century Internet. Velocix was the first company to combine P2P technology with traditional CDN concepts to create a new generation CDN.
Velocix was also the first company to support a full complement of CDN delivery services, including download, progressive download, live & on-demand streaming and P2P assisted delivery. They have five offerings and one of them is free (filesize limit 32 Mb, delivery allowance 500 GB, no storage included).
Babelgum, Bollywood.tv, chic.tv, connexia and AC Milan are some of its customers.
- Ipercast is an European company that manages the diffusion of secure multimedia content on the Internet and on mobile (having its own infrastructure). Its network consists of more than 10 000 km of optical fiber to offer Meta-CDN services. They have the technical presence in 6 countries in Europe, but also in Canada and the USA. Their main expertise includes the distribution of secure streaming, downloading and P2P services (specialized in the development of video on demand services for media and Internet Service Providers).
- Advection.NET is a global video delivery network for Windows Media files with the broadest features for live and on-demand business models built into the service, including digital rights management (DRM), pay-per-view, pay-per-minute, and geo-targeting. Plus, it includes high-performance API frameworks for digital media stores and user-generated content sites.
- TinyCDN is an Austin, Texas based service which a Software as a Service (SaaS) that leverages the speed, scale and availability of Amazon Web Services. TinyCDN is delivered as Software as a Service and provides a quick, friendly, easy way to manage and optimize content on a CDN through an intuitive user interface. TinyCDN services range from $9.95 to $299.95 a month depending on the amount of bandwidth that will be needed to distribute content.
Because it’s a new launched service it doesn’t list yet customers on their website.
Do you have more suggestions?