Build Vs. Buy: The CDN Dilemma

"What is really required to build a CDN in today's market?" That was one of the questions asked by Steve Lerner of RampRate Sourcing Advisers as he moderated a panel at the recent Content Delivery Summit in New York City on build versus buy strategies for CDNs. Lerner wanted to know what it takes for a CDN to be successful, and how success was measured.

"Success, at the end of the day, obviously, with any of our companies, is sales," said Megan Wohlford, product manager for hosting giant Rackspace. "Something that our customers are looking for is speed, so we're constantly running tests against us and our competitors, and our competitors combined with other CDN providers, and speed is really what it comes down to."

"Customers want to see proof that content is being served the same from India as it is from San Antonio as it is from L.A.," she concluded.

Drilling down, Lerner wanted to know why Rackspace didn't offer CDN services, itself. "You're already a beloved hosting company," he said. With all of Rackspace's assets, which include engineering, talent, and an economy of scale, why hadn't it made the jump?

"Rackspace is a company that prides itself on fanatical support, and we do not allow ourselves to offer anything less," said Wohlford. "At the end of the day, we are not CDN experts...It would take us years to get to the level of expertise that the Akamais and the Limelights of the world are at."

Watch the video below to view the entire discussion.

Build Versus Buy Strategies

The internet has changed dramatically since the first CDNs came to the market and video is fast becoming the bulk of bandwidth on the internet. These changes are cause to re-evaluate CDN strategy for all size users of CDNs. This session will discuss what the cases are for building one's own CDN, examples of successful client-owned CDNs, risks associated with the build-out, the cost and quality trade off for both in-house and outsourced CDNs, and how the operations differ.

Moderator: Steve Lerner, Media Practice Director, RampRate Sourcing Advisors
Speaker: Megan Wohlford, Product Manager, Rackspace
Speaker: Marcin Pilarski, Expert R&D, Orange Labs Polish Telecom
Speaker: Mosiri Cabezas, Head of Global CDN Services, Telefonica, S.A

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