Save your FREE seat for Streaming Media Connect this August. Register Now!

How CDNs Prepare for Large-Scale Live Events

Learn more about delivering large-scale live event streams at the next Content Delivery Summit.

See complete videos and other highlights from Content Delivery Summit on Streaming Media's YouTube channel.

Read the complete transcript of this video:

Tim Siglin: When we talk about live, large-scale events, how do you prepare for those?

Brenton Ough: Well, that's interesting. We do do quite a few very large-scale events. What we see is that preparation is absolutely paramount. If you're going to be going to a global audience and doing a large-scale sporting event, you've got to be 200% sure everything's going to work. So you need multi-CDN, and you need all the switching to work--don't use simple DNS switching. You've got to have sophisticated tools that actually can do things very quickly, make decisions, and use the data that's available. One of the things that I've seen that's helping these big events be successful is making sure you've got lots of redundancy. So that's why you have multi-CDN.

But it's not just multi-CDN. You've got to have multiple paths. You've got to have multiple encoders, multiple paths through your origin shield all the way through you've got to have redundancy and you've got to monitor all of that. But I think on the biggest events, the two most important things are, first, making sure you've really tested it. So if you're going to do a big Super Bowl or something like that, you really have to test every scenario. You actually have to force everything to fail, to make sure that all of those scenarios we play are actually going to work. And you have to have the runbooks effectively to make serious operational activity.

The other thing that I've noticed more recently--some of the bigger companies are really taking seriously, because there's huge teams working on this and there's lots of vendors associated with it--is having very clearly laid out decision-making pathways. So in Scenario A, who is the person that makes the decision to say, "We're going to cut that CDN out, or we're going to do this, or we're going to change that" or whatever. When you're running a very large sporting event, you don't have time to think about, "What do you think? And what do you think?" Someone has got to be designated as the right person to make that decision.

I've found the ones where those sort of things are all prepared beforehand--that's what makes those events successful.

Streaming Covers
for qualified subscribers
Subscribe Now Current Issue Past Issues
Related Articles

Is Multi-CDN Always the Answer for Five-Nines Uptime Streaming at Scale?

Taking a multi-CDN approach would seem to be a no-brainer for delivering large-scale streams to global audiences and maximizing uptime in the face of bursts, unexpected regional demand, and other impediments to a smoothly delivered high-stakes stream. But DAZN's Bob Hannent says it's not always so, and a multi-CDN approach can actually introduce inefficiencies, in this discussion with CDN Alliance Chairman Mark de Jong at Streaming Media Connect 2023.

Multi-CDN Best Practices for Optimizing Performance and Reducing Latency

Pursuing a multi-CDN strategy is critical to reliable and high-performance edge delivery when streaming at scale to disparate audiences in multiple regions. But what do large-scale streamers need to know about multi-CDN decisioning and traffic-shaping to optimize performance? Harmonic's Jeff Gilbert, Paramount's Sean McCarthy, and Live X's Corey Behnke offer last-mile best practices in this clip from their panel at Streaming Media East 2023.

How to Engage Live Concert Stream Audiences

7 Cinematics' Adam Paul and Kiswe's Mike Schabel discuss how to stay on brand with large-scale concert streams and explore monetization opportunities outside those typically associated with in-person-only events in this clip from Streaming Media East Connect 2021.

How to Scale Live Streaming Architecture

Verizon Media's Darren Lepke discusses how to meet the challenges of scaling live streaming architecture to TV/cable-like dimensions for effective delivery of major events in this clip from Streaming Media East Connect 2021.

How to Choose a Virtual CDN for Live Events

Velocix' Jim Brickmeier discusses virtual CDN options and advantages for live event streamers who have their own networks and for those who don't in this clip from Content Delivery Summit.

Key CDN Challenges

Streaming Video Alliance Executive Director Jason Thibeault discusses what the Alliance sees as the most pressing challenges currently facing CDNs and how they are working to address them in this clip from his keynote at Content Delivery Summit.

What Are CDN Customers' Chief Concerns?

Verizon's Thomas Box and Akamai's Will Law discuss key and emerging areas of focus for CDNs, including security, edge growth, latency, and more in this clip from Content Delivery Summit.

What Is Open Caching?

Streaming Video Alliance Executive Director Jason Thibeault explains what open caching is, how it plays in with CDNs, and how it relates to CDN technologies in this clip from Content Delivery Summit.

How CDN User Requirements Are Changing

Limelight VP Steve Miller-Jones explains how CDN users' expectations are beyond the givens of efficient distribution to greater inter-operability and more in this clip from Content Delivery Summit.

Next-Gen CDN Service Evolution Wishlist

Globant Tech Director, Media Practice Marlon Montgomery outlines his wishlist for improved standardization and innovative use of AI in content delivery in this clip from his presentation at Content Delivery Summit.