Streaming content delivery networks are application service providers (ASPs) which offer their services on an as needed basis, depending on the time and bandwidth you require.
By George Avgerakis
Streaming Content Delivery Networks
The most important part of producing a streaming video is what professionals call, “the last mile.” If conception, planning, production and editing are the first 200 miles of your road to success, the “last mile” is how you stream your program to your viewers – live. The more you know about the last mile, the better you can serve your customers and the more popular and profitable your programs will be.
Most streaming video equipment has a method by which you can select the content delivery network or CDN, which will carry your program to audiences worldwide. Typically, you download a “profile” from a CDN and then configure that profile on your system. The profile allows for a running account of your bill and other necessary information that you provide, such as location, resolution and audio “headroom.”
A CDN is a large array of distributed Internet proxy servers located around the world and maintained for the sole purpose of serving content with high quality and instant availability. CDNs are used for all cloud functions including storage, online computing, website delivery and of course, streaming video. The more hardware a CDN uses to store and/or carry your program, the more they will charge for the service.
Although YouTube provides a free, limited capability to stream to viewers, typically, you will rent the services of a CDN to obtain five key qualities: Scalability, Speed, Security, Solvency, and Service – the five “S’s.”
Scalability is the ability to match the density of your program (usually related to the resolution you’ve chosen) to the bandwidth and speed of the network which will carry your program to the audience – and to the size of the audience in terms numbers and time of attendance.
CDNs are application service providers (ASPs) which offer their services on an as needed basis, depending on the time and bandwidth you require. Consider a CDN like a flexible water main with a variable diameter and any number of drinking fountains. Instead of water, you are sending data. Scalability is the ability of the CDN to push just the right amount of data to all the spigots so everybody drinks just the right flow.
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