Video: The Pros and Cons of a Multi-CDN Strategy

Until recently, using multiple CDNs to deliver content was something rarely done by content owners spending less than $1 million per year on content services. But more recently, content owners spending $200,000-$250,000 per year have been increasingly exploring the multi-CDN strategy. Cedexis reports that between May 2015 and May 2016, 26% of their customers used multiple CDNs. In this clip from Content Delivery Summit 2016, Streaming Media EVP Dan Rayburn discusses this trend, and why more tier two content owners are moving in this direction.

Read the full transcript:

Dan Rayburn: I've been really surprised over the last 12 months just how many smaller customers, what I'll call Tier-Two customers, have moved to a multi-CDN strategy. A multi-CDN strategy is where a customer decides to use two or more CDNs and they split their traffic across them, and typically industry-wide, we saw that for only the largest customers. If you were spending $1 million more a year on CDN services, you'd think about a Multi-CDN approach. I'm now seeing customers who are spending $200,000-$250,000 a year in total using 2 or 3 CDNs.

I asked Cedexis to look this up, since they track CDNs. They saw here that over the last 12 months, 26% of their customer base has been using multi-CDN. That's pretty high, especially being that these are Tier Two-size customers. Multi-CDN is definitely something that's been happening more and more of late, which really surprised me, to be honest, and every time I do the survey each year, I see more customers selecting more than one CDN, as far as who they're choosing.

What's the impact? Why do you care? If you're a customer, the impact is easy. It shows you that there's many right ways to deliver content with good performance. There's not only one network topology that works, or you have to be doing it this way, or using this type of technology. Customers realize that multiple CDNs have very similar levels of performance, and different price points, and different SLEs, so it makes sense that you would use more than one CDN.

For other customers, it doesn't make sense, because you don't want to get raw logs from 2 different places. You don't want to have different types of metrics. You don't want to deal with 2 different types of contracts. If you use 2 different CDNs, you can't bundle all your bandwidth into 1 contract, so it's not a right or wrong answer if you use multi-CDN. It's a matter of what you're comfortable with and what the purpose is of doing it.

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