Equipment vendors get into the CDN act
Carriers are very interested in CDNs, whether it’s getting into the CDN market themselves, or “defensively” deploying content delivery solutions as part of an effort to reduce the cost of broadband service or find a way to monetize the gobs of video traffic now flowing to their end-users.
So far, most carriers have chosen partnerships with companies like Limelight and Edgecast, rather than entering the market with their own technology and services, but this shouldn’t be regarded as the permanent state of things. The equipment vendors clearly recognized the interest some time ago, and the solutions are finally starting to flow down the pipeline.
Last year, Alcatel-Lucent bought Velocix, a CDN provider, in order to get its carrier-focused technology, Velocix Metro (which I’ve written about before). Velocix Metro is a turnkey CDN solution, with the added interesting bit of adding aggregation capability across multiple Velocix customers.
Last month, Juniper partnered with Ankeena in order to bring a solution called Juniper MediaFlow to market. It’s a turnkey CDN solution incorporating both content routing and caches.
This month, with the introduction of the CRS-3 core router, Cisco announced its Network Positioning System (NPS). NPS is not a CDN solution of any sort. Rather, it’s essentially a system that gathers intelligence about the network, and uses that to compute the proximity between two endpoints. NPS is essentially used to provide a programmatic way to advise clients and servers about the best place to find networked resources. Today, we get a crude form of this in the technical functionality of BGP Anycast; NPS, by contrast, is supposed to use information from layers 3 through 7, and incorporate policy-based capabilities.
And in news of little companies, Blackwave has been chugging along, releasing a new version of its platform earlier this month. Blackwave is one of those companies that I expect to be eyed as an acquisition target by equipment vendors looking to add turnkey CDN solutions to their portfolios; Blackwave has a highly efficient ILM-ish media storage platform, coupled with some content routing capabilities. (Its flagship CDN customer is CDNetworks, but its other customers are primarily service providers.)