Choosing CDN Provider for Live Streaming

Choosing CDN Provider for Live Streaming

Live streaming is one of many trends that have become immensely popular in the last decade or so – this can be mostly connected with how the Internet as a whole has become far more common and widespread all over the world.

However, there is a large part of live streaming as a whole that not a lot of people know about, despite its significance – and that is the usage of Content Delivery Networks, or CDNs. On its own a Content Delivery Network is an interconnected group of servers that is used to provide specific content to users in different locations with as little latency as possible.

Generally speaking, CDN played a large part in solving one of the biggest problems of content delivery as a whole – latency. With the Internet becoming more and more widespread and common in different countries, it would’ve been near impossible to make sure that each and every user from around the globe would get the same experience when using a specific resource (a website, a streaming platform, etc.).

Luckily enough, the whole idea of a CDN is to use multiple servers in different geographical locations and to store the content in question on each of these servers. The way it works is that when a user is attempting to access a specific resource, they would get the content in question from the nearest CDN server, and not the original server.

This helps a lot with user experience as a whole – lower content loading speed is one of the biggest problems for a worldwide service, and it tends to hurt user retention quite a bit. Additionally, the original content server has that much less load on it, too, purely because it does not have to process each and every request from around the world.

It’s also not uncommon for CDN providers to offer a variety of additional features and services, as well, such as DDoS attack mitigation, security certificate improvements, traffic size optimization methods, etc. The number of advantages that a regular CDN service can provide is rather high – and there are multiple different user groups that can take advantage of a CDN in one way or another.

The first two groups should be rather obvious: regular users and content owners. Regular users are receiving the content they are looking for with less latency and more convenience, while content owners use CDNs to improve user experience, improve conversion rates, and so on. However, there is also a third group here that is not as obvious – ISPs (Internet Service Providers or Network Service Providers).

Network Service Providers are also a part of the audience that interacts with CDNs on a regular basis. This is mostly a consequence of the bandwidth-heavy forms of content such as live streaming, which has a requirement of a rather high-speed and steady network bandwidth. It’s not uncommon for network service providers to implement their own CDNs to solve these issues, and it also opens the ability to sell their CDN services to various companies, among other advantages.

While the advantages of a CDN are numerous for a lot of different content types, live streaming would be downright impossible without these networks. Since live streaming as a content type cannot be cached as easily as websites or video-on-demand services, it creates an even higher demand for CDN service providers to have higher bandwidth and better coverage to improve the overall user experience.

Here are some of the most crucial parameters that any good CDN for live streaming should have – extensive analytical capabilities, a good network performance as a whole, an even server spread over the region the CDN is working in, and a high number of servers, in general.

Extensive analytical capabilities are pretty much necessary for any business to provide a lot of much-needed insights into content statistics (view counts, user spread over the world, etc.). A decent performance is a given for a network that aims to deal with a task as bandwidth-heavy as live streaming, even though the CDN performance is not the definitive sign of how good it is.

An even server distribution over different areas is necessary to make sure there are as little problems with content delivery during live streams as possible, since most streams work with barely a few seconds of a delay in the first place. A good server number is also a requirement to cover bigger areas so that there are no blind spots or regions with no CDN server close to them.

Live streaming as a whole is a rather demanding operation, and CDNs have to be some of the best on the market to be effective at it. Luckily enough, the market in question is already packed with competitors, so there is always a good number of different CDN providers to choose from.

Dreya Roland

Dreya Roland who currently writes daily content related to videos and Entertainment newd for Fakazahits. Over the past year, she has interviewed the likes of Zeeno, Exdee, Jabosky, and even Acetune. Some of her work includes our first long-form investigative piece, Rap and Afro Pop Singers, as well as various pieces of Original Content centered around trending topics in amapiano.

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