Light Reading

CDN: Build or Buy?

Ray Le Maistre

9:10 AM -- Of the many difficult choices facing network operators today, the decision about whether to build or buy CDN (content delivery network) capabilities to deal with video and other bandwidth-hungry applications must be one of the toughest. (See Carriers Crave CDN Action.)

Buying CDN services from specialists such as Akamai Technologies Inc. (Nasdaq: AKAM), Limelight Networks Inc. (Nasdaq: LLNW), CDNetworks Co. Ltd. , Level 3 Communications Inc. (Nasdaq: LVLT) or OnApp Ltd. provides a ready-made solution managed by experienced companies, but that option can be costly and also limits the development of the operator's own revenue-generating CDN services.

So operators are increasingly incorporating CDN capabilities into their own networks not only to reduce their own costs but also to develop their own CDN services that can then be sold to enterprises and content owners.

Russia's Rostelecom is the latest to go down this route. With mobile now part of its services portfolio, the company is building out a next-generation wireless network and has awarded a sizeable radio access equipment contract to Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERIC). As part of the same deal, Ericsson is supplying Rostelecom with its Media Delivery Network solution, which includes distribution and delivery, caching, storing, streaming, transcoding and content management system (CMS) capabilities. (See Rostelecom Builds Out With Ericsson and Ericsson Unveils Media Delivery Net.)

Ericsson has significant in-house video distribution expertise courtesy of its Tandberg TV acquisition, but even that wasn't enough for the Swedish vendor: To give it the necessary smarts in the CDN world, it has forged a close partnership with Akamai, with which it has also been working to develop broader applications acceleration capabilities. (See Ericsson Intros Smart Cloud Accelerator, MWC 2011: Ericsson CEO on Akamai Deal and MWC 2011: Ericsson, Akamai Get Jiggy.)

Akamai has also created a special package for network operators that want to license its CDN technology. Akamai, then, sells services and technology direct to telcos and also has a partnership with the world's leading mobile infrastructure vendor -- that's called hedging your bets. (See Will Operators Embrace Akamai's Licensed CDN?)

There are plenty of other equipment firms ready to help the telcos develop their own CDN capabilities, including Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE: ALU), Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO), Dell Inc. (Nasdaq: DELL), Juniper Networks Inc. (NYSE: JNPR) and Motorola Mobility LLC , among others. (See Dell Gets Into the CDN Business, AlcaLu CEO Unveils New Vision, Juniper Adds to Its CDN Offering, Moto, EdgeCast Strike CDN Deal and CES: Cisco Unveils Master Plan for Video.)

There's no shortage of options for operators, then. The key, it seems, is figuring out the associated business plan first and then picking the most suitable solution. And if building a CDN looks to be the best way forward, the next key question would be -- will the operations team know how to run it?

For more on CDNs:

— Ray Le Maistre, International Managing Editor, Light Reading

(1)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 5:28:21 PM
re: CDN: Build or Buy?

For those service providers who choose to build their own content delivery networks, here are two white papers that may be of interest: 

<li>The 4 Keys to Telco CDN Success</li>
<li>5 Ways Operator CDNs Can Land More Customers</li>
More Blogs from EuroBlog
Having taken a breather from its acquisition spree in the US, Zayo could kick-start some infrastructure consolidation action in Europe
Some good news for its Finnish parent – Nokia Siemens Networks is on a margin roll
Telefónica to boost its broadband lines in LatAm with DSL management the from ASSIA
According to the value of Nokia's takeover deal, Nokia Siemens Networks is worth less than $5B
As APAC and North America forge ahead, Europe seems stuck in yesteryear
From The Founder
The comms industry is rallying to the cause of open, independent interoperability testing.
Flash Poll
Live Streaming Video
CLOUD / MANAGED SERVICES: Prepping Ethernet for the Cloud
Moderator: Ray LeMaistre Panelists: Jeremy Bye, Leonard Sheahan
LRTV Interviews
AT&T's Chiosi on the Potential of Open Source

10|6|15   |   06:27   |   (0) comments

AT&T Distinguished Network Architect Margaret T. Chiosi talks to Light Reading's Carol Wilson about the potential for open source technology to liberate communications service providers.
LRTV Interviews
Network Security in a Gigabit World

10|6|15   |   05:52   |   (0) comments

Masergy's James Harrison talks about some of the network security and data center issues network operators need to consider as they expand their broadband services portfolios.
LRTV Documentaries
Telefónica: In Search of Virtual Simplicity

10|5|15   |   07:30   |   (0) comments

Francisco-Javier Ramon Salguero, head of Telefónica's NFV initiative, admits virtualization initially means greater complexity, but with the right abstraction layer, it is possible to create a services-driven network architecture. He explains how Telefónica's current trials and initiatives are aimed at doing that, and what his company and other carriers need to ...
LRTV Interviews
Gigabit Europe Takeaways

10|5|15   |   03:47   |   (0) comments

Participants from the inaugural Gigabit Europe event in Munich share their key takeaways from the conference.
Women in Comms Introduction Videos
Intel Urges Women to Take Advantage of Their Seat at the Table

10|5|15   |   4:27   |   (1) comment

Have inclusive and constructive conversations, attach a bigger meaning to your work and get involved in the cause, Intel's Monique Hayward advises women in comms.
LRTV Interviews
BT Updates on Plans

10|2|15   |   03:16   |   (2) comments

Peter Bell, CIO at Openreach, the access network division at UK incumbent BT, provides an update on the operator's trials and how Openreach is planning to deploy the broadband technology in its street cabinets.
Telecom Innovators Video Showcase
Sonus Shakes Up SD-WAN

10|2|15   |   7:22   |   (0) comments

Sonus CTO Kevin Riley sat down with Light Reading to discuss the trajectory of the company, its SDN ambitions and why Sonus is taking a market-disruptive approve to SD-WAN.
LRTV Interviews
CityFibre's Gigabit Vision

10|1|15   |   03:18   |   (1) comment

Mark Collins, director of Strategy & Public Affairs at competitive UK city network operator CityFibre, talks about his company's plans to help build Gigabit Cities.
Telecom Innovators Video Showcase
Automate, Scale & Create With Juniper's vCPE Solution

10|1|15   |   6:34   |   (0) comments

Join Kireeti Kompella, Juniper Networks CTO, and Steve Saunders, Light Reading Founder and CEO, as they discuss Juniper Networks' approach to NFV showcased with a turnkey vCPE solution, which demonstrates how service providers can use automation to rapidly deploy services.
LRTV Interviews
Gigabit Europe: Day 1 Takeaways

9|29|15   |   05:47   |   (5) comments

Light Reading's Ray Le Maistre and Iain Morris sup a beer and discuss some of the key takeaways from the first day of Gigabit Europe 2015.
LRTV Interviews
Gigabit in Europe

9|29|15   |   04:24   |   (0) comments

At the Gigabit Europe 2015 event in Munich, Heavy Reading's Graham Finnie talks about the availability of gigabit broadband in Europe.
Women in Comms Introduction Videos
AT&T's Band of Women

9|28|15   |   4:36   |   (0) comments

Brooks McCorcle, the president of AT&T's partner solutions divisions and a mathematician by trade, shares stats on AT&T's diversity and advice on how to create your own band of women at work.
Upcoming Live Events
October 14-15, 2015, New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center, New Orleans, LA
November 5, 2015, Hilton Santa Clara, Santa Clara, CA
November 17, 2015, Santa Clara, California
December 1, 2015, The Westin Times Square, New York City
December 2, 2015, The Westin Times Square, New York City
All Upcoming Live Events
Communication service providers realize that an ICT transformation is critical to their long-term survival, but most haven't yet committed to making it happen.
Hot Topics
Google Gives Huawei a US Device Boost
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 9/29/2015
Verizon's Go90 Is Live – Will Anyone Watch?
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 10/1/2015
Eurobites: Dunroamin'
Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, 10/2/2015
Following the Bouncing Capex Ball
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 9/29/2015
Good News for NFV Interoperability
Steve Saunders, CEO and founder, Light Reading, 9/29/2015
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
Webinar Archive
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
With so many new and exciting communications technologies now under development, it's easy to get caught up in the industry's escalating hype cycle. That's why the ...
Last week saw a big day in the 15-year history of Light Reading when Editor-in-Chief Ray Le Maistre and I were invited to interview the Deputy Chairman and Rotating ...
Cats with Phones
Hold My Calls, Indefinitely Click Here