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Next-Gen CDN Service Evolution Wishlist

Learn more about CDN standardization and caching 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:

Marlon Montgomery: Now for my wishlist for all the CDNs out there that are listening. Some of these items exist out there, so it's just the level of maturity and maybe lack of standardization or depending on the niche that each CDN is targeting, right. But as we covered in the case study, having robust analytics and data exploration tools to see how clients are consuming the streams on a device and region basis it is critical for us app developers to triage and resolve issues. Again, going back to the first case study, there was a lot of sitting down with the CDN and trying to optimize routes and, based on region and device et cetera, it would be very useful if we had a set of out-of-the-box configurations based on tried and true settings for particular use cases, i.e., streaming live to particular regions on these devices at least at a high level. Then we could go in, and like I said, fine-tune and tweak because there's no one size fits all.

But that would go a long way, having those templates in place. And then there's a lot of ongoing consolidation among CDNs in the industry, and that may continue to help. But I would love to see more partnering networks and cooperation between CDNs to fill in the gaps that are there in Latin America and Asia, being the two biggest areas or regions of need. Multi-CDN is great, but that can become a bear to manage as well if you have to deal with 10, 15 different CDNs. If you can cut that down to two or three, that'd be fantastic and cooperating standards. All of that being in place, a lot of folks are talking about this and implementing machine learning, AI-based routing and caching decisions. Going further with those changes in the routing and finding different connection paths on the fly during midstream leaving those bottlenecks will be fantastic.

The second point of that is being predictive prefetch caching like calling those videos on the edge during playback, or right before playback, or reducing the video startup times and lowering those rebuffering rates. And then as we talked about today, moving things to the edge. Transcoding on the edge, especially for adaptive live video streaming for mobile and user-generated content would re reduce the backend overhead quite a bit. It's actually pretty fast to transcode on mobile, which you wouldn't expect, and it's not terribly inefficient on the energy side, either--not much more than playback. There are some alternatives out there to using the classic CDN approach as well. Multicasting is quite old, but it's making a little bit of a comeback or a little bit of noise.

And then there's the mesh peer-to-peer-type strategy as well. But both of those have their own issues as well, or hurdles that we need to overcome. It's going to be pretty difficult, but if somebody can figure out how to do ABR on multicasting, that'd be huge. And then on thepeer-to-peer mesh side, doing server-side ad integration then per-stream watermarking that's not easily doable or doable at all right now.

And then, of course improving security features. There are a number of items there everything from the ERM tokens but the one thing that's on my mind recently from a recent deployment is stream take-down--being able to easily do that via CDN maybe using ML and AI to help analyze this as well and making it easy to take down individual streams for accounts. And this is actually a big issue in Latin America for a couple of services--streaming illegal sports streamsnot only personal, but to a lot of bars, et cetera, down there. And thenplease, please, please--everyone's talking about ultra-low latency and doing that at scale, and I'd love to see that. But let's please have some level of standardization and work together to make that a little less painful than some of the other decisions we have now in terms of protocols, et cetera

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