As the density of websites is on the rise and web-based content is going increasingly rich, pressure is mounting on (Inter)networking companies to come up with innovative ways for handling bandwidth overflow and for reducing the latency of response from content servers to today’s ever-impatient netizens.

CDN (Content Delivery Network) is a specialised network to optimize the delivery of specific web-based content to its intended recipient — by reducing the latency to client-device request and by minimizing Internet bandwidth utilization. The sole purpose is to reduce the latency after a visitor (actually, the requesting device) requests for content. There was a day when I was struggling with my PC to download a picture of recent meteor shower for the science day celebration next day. In fact, I had to spend late in the night in my research lab expecting that connectivity would be faster, and that there would be less number of night owls.

Today, the situation is different. I am spending 500 times bandwidth daily — even downloading dozens of megabytes for listening to podcasts. I get competing offers from local ISPs to give me better for less. I get offers of “unlimited” from hosting companies to host my long chain of websites and portals. Even a manager from a leading datacenter company was asking me (as a part of survey) yesterday if I would prefer to see them in my city – either a datacenter or a customer support center. Providers have been hyper-aware about customers.

Content delivery network vendors have been quite visible now. Companies like Akamai and Limelight have demonstrated what can be achieved with this technology. It has been a reality that we are partcipating in a rapidly evolving Internet ecosystem, which has now come beyond the streaming media technology (moving audio and video over Internet to achieve a steady flow of rich media data at client device) and Internet content delivery mechanism (delivery of content over Internet using Internet bandwidth while transiting from the server to the client device). At the same time, these companies and other providers in this area have been convinced that the trend is mass customerization, and that they need to innovate further. And this will make the end-user experience better every next day.


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