Cloud Services

Hybrid CDNs Now Available to All, Courtesy of Cedexis & Varnish Software

Cedexis and Varnish Software are partnering to create a formal system that enables content owners to create customized delivery networks by stitching together public clouds and CDNs in whatever combination makes the most sense for their business needs.

This isn't software-defined networking in the way it is commonly conceived, but, at a conceptual level, the two have created a variation of SDN that enables the software configuration of cloud and CDN services to create a delivery network for all kinds of content, including websites, online news and video. Cedexis is calling this approach to architecting a network "hybrid CDN."

Cedexis will offer Varnish Software's Varnish Extend, a commercially hardened version of the open source Varnish caching software, and offer it together with its own load balancing solution for real-time traffic shaping.

The combination gives media companies (websites, online publications, video providers) a means to quickly and inexpensively build a customized content delivery infrastructure that can be specifically tuned to their quality of experience (QoE) demands, content caching requirements, and/or costs constraints.

"You can combine, for example, Amazon AWS centers with Varnish caches to get whatever coverage you need," Cedexis vice president of marketing Rob Malnati told Light Reading. "It's a new way to look at network architecture," he said.

The strategy could be a godsend for, say, a company that delivers high-definition video in a small geography. There might not be a sufficient number of hyper data centers near enough (delivery time is still dependent on distance and subject to traffic jams), but a combination of cloud and caching in nearby CDNs could do the job.

On the flip side, if the hybrid CDN architecture were to become more popular, it would be an incentive for service providers to get into the CDN business (or, in some cases, get back in).

Want to know more about the latest developments in the video services business? Check out our dedicated video channel here on Light Reading.

Cedexis and Varnish Software say the trend is already clearly identifiable; companies like Netflix Inc. (Nasdaq: NFLX) and Facebook are already moving in the direction of hybrid CDNs, combining their own clouds with commercial CDN services.

Meanwhile, broadcasters have started leveraging caching nodes in their local market for live and VoD streaming. Internet service providers are using multiple Varnish Software nodes to create their own CDNs for their on-net traffic, the two observe. Malnati published a blog last week on how this trend developed called Hybrid CDN Infrastructure: How We Got Here .

All Cedexis and Varnish Software are doing is giving smaller companies professional tools to configure their own hybrid CDNs.

France's Numericable-SFR, which provides voice, video, data and Internet telecommunications and professional services to consumers and businesses, is one of the top ten most visited sites in France. The company implemented Varnish Plus as a backbone of its private CDN, Cedexis reports.

Varnish Extend is available from both Cedexis and directly from Varnish Software. Varnish Software has a subscription-based pricing model starting at $2,500 a month.

— Brian Santo, Senior Editor, Components, T&M, Light Reading

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