Whether or not you’re familiar with what a content delivery network (CDN) is and how it works, one topic up for discussion is whether or not a CDN is a necessary internet utility, similar to what gas is to a fuel-powered car. Although the internet wouldn’t exist in its current form without a CDN, there are a few technical reasons why a CDN is not a true utility. Let’s explore more.
A CDN actually operates at a layer above a telco, not as an access provider. But what it really boils down to is that every CDN is built very differently, offering various services and levels of performance. One of the key value propositions behind Verizon Digital Media Services’ CDN is our dedicated focus on performance. Everything we do is built for performance. This blog explores how our better network helps drive better performance.
Verizon Digital Media Services’ CDN is built using an Anycast network. Anycast takes a very different approach to edge PoPs (points of presence) location selection. The traditional CDN approach is to use DNS to geographically locate a user and point them to the closest edge location. Anycast allows multiple locations in our CDN to utilize a single IP. The request will find its way to the closest PoP using distance information from the routing table. This type of network provides geographically close services without the need to depend on third-party IP geo look ups or multiple recursive DNS queries.
Our network also takes a “Super PoP” approach to PoP locations. Traditionally, edge servers are placed sporadically in different locations close to heavy populations. A Super PoP, on the other hand, is a specifically selected data center that can serve one or many geographic regions while being interconnected to our peering and routing partners,. This setup provides the fastest speeds and redundancy in a location. When these datacenters are selected, the Super PoP built for that datacenter contains all of our edge servers providing all of our services: caching, web acceleration, streaming, routing, PCI compliance and much more. In fact, we have over 80 PoPs worldwide.
Finally, performance is built into our network and everything it reaches. Not only do all of our engineers focus on performance, but we have dedicated performance software engineers on specific teams, including a performance networking team that is utilized by all engineering teams. The performance team assists our engineers and takes a proactive approach responding to internal and third-party alerts to ensure our network is operating better than everyone else out there in the industry!
Director, Product Management
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