EdgeCast Eyes CDN Federation

EdgeCast Networks Inc. announced Monday that it's licensing its content delivery network (CDN) software to carriers, creating the potential for federated CDNs.

EdgeCast runs its own CDN, which carriers can resell to their customers. But for more than two years Edgecast has also been selling the software to operators that have opted to build their own CDNs. Monday's announcement is EdgeCast's first public acknowledgement of this part of the business.

The company is also saying that one Tier 1 U.S. carrier is running one of these licensed CDNs. EdgeCast isn't allowed to say who, but a report a year ago said it was AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T).

Why this matters
Why bother announcing the licensing business when "everybody in town knows we do this," as EdgeCast President James Segil puts it? Because EdgeCast wants to be known for having a head start on competitors, particularly Akamai Technologies Inc. (Nasdaq: AKAM), when it comes to bragging about federating CDNs -- that is, connecting CDNs to one another for expanded reach.

Akamai is big on the idea, as are some carriers and vendors. Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE: ALU) is working in this direction with its CloudBand architecture, for instance.

Standing out as a frontrunner might be particularly important considering there are no standards for CDN federation yet.

For more
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— Craig Matsumoto, West Coast Editor, Light Reading

FastCache 12/5/2012 | 5:46:13 PM
re: EdgeCast Eyes CDN Federation

Interesting market play.  Curious to see how many players will get behind this now that EdgeCast has nailed their colors to the mast. To ultimately succeed some level of multi-vendor interoperability will be required. Any evidence of this happening any time soon?

Pete Baldwin 12/5/2012 | 5:46:13 PM
re: EdgeCast Eyes CDN Federation

> Any evidence of this happening any time soon?

I doubt it would be any time soon, if you're talking about interoperability between cloud vendors. We're still in a period of kingmaking, with guys like Edgecast trying to take on Akamai, and carriers like AT&T trying to establish their cloud businesses.

Speaking of which: AT&T launched its latest attempt at cloud today, at CES. Or, I guess, they said they're going to launch it. It doesn't look like they said much else, other than joining OpenStack.

pbhurley 12/5/2012 | 5:45:59 PM
re: EdgeCast Eyes CDN Federation

I think that telcos have more interest and urgency to build their own CDN Federation so that they can vie with the Akamais and EdgeCasts of the world for global CDN business.  The Operator Carrier Exchange (OCX) is already in the process of creating the structure to formalize that goal. 

I published a white paper — Federated CDNs: what every service provider should know — that may shed some more light on this subject. 

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