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It’s All in the Delivery

With the widespread adoption of broadband connectivity in homes and businesses, the demand for rich media content continues to grow rapidly. This trend will escalate as businesses increasingly leverage the Internet for services such as legal media downloads, software distribution, and corporate webcasting. Launching a service capable of routing large files and high-quality broadcasts to content-hungry visitors quickly and efficiently is crucial to the long-term success and profitability of any online enterprise.

The challenge for providers of rich media content is to deliver their product flawlessly at the lowest possible cost. They are succeeding via a new breed of service provider called a Digital Delivery Network (DDN), specialized in making high-capacity, fast-response, and ultra-reliable online media distribution an affordable option. Pioneering DDN Limelight Networks has been delivering rich media for some of the Internet’s most heavily trafficked properties since 2001 and has developed a unique understanding of the requirements for distributing this content.

DDNs like Limelight Networks are expanding and enhancing services in order to address the specific needs of scalability, faster delivery, and increased reliability for online businesses. Unlike legacy content delivery networks (CDNs) designed primarily to handle static pictures on Web sites for faster page loads, Limelight Networks was designed to scale with the large file sizes and expanded audiences that make up today’s digital media delivery universe. This means increased server capacity, enhanced Internet backbone connectivity, and strategically placed infrastructure to reach the largest possible audience. For corporate communications, a DDN’s high-capacity architecture supports the ability to bring global teams together quickly to collaborate online more affordably than they can via traditional teleconferences or in-person meetings.

Most enterprise content providers find it makes practical sense to outsource the delivery of their digital assets based on the cost and complexity of in-house management. But how does one choose a reliable delivery provider, and what should companies look for in a partner? Digital content owners can meet the growing demands of consumers by ensuring four key elements are met by their DDN partner in the distribution of large media files and webcasts. By addressing specific needs of speed, reliability, flexibility, and innovation in creating unique solutions, a DDN can enable online business plans to flourish.

Lower Costs, Higher Speeds
By placing distribution points in strategic locations and leveraging direct connectivity and peering into major networks, Limelight Networks ensures that content is routed quickly from the closest logical location. Rather than placing capital-intensive equipment inside every network, Limelight Networks locates storage and delivery servers at vital interconnection points where IP backbones converge. This ensures minimal "hops" and a more engaging experience for live events as well as lower connectivity costs. In addition, media is stored and distributed only from locations where there is demand, reducing costs by avoiding unnecessary seeding of items to less-popular locations.

As filesizes continue to increase and requests for those files balloon, a DDN architecture design will accommodate more content and more hits from larger audiences. An alternative to utilizing a DDN—relying on a single hosting facility or a single Internet connection—can pose numerous challenges for content providers. Lack of redundancy in media routing and distribution can lead to unwelcome latency or worse, a site crash. DDN technology architects build enough redundancy and intelligence into the network to handle the unexpected traffic spikes that are commonplace today with breaking news or popular entertainment events.

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