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How to Speak at Content Delivery Summit 2020

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The Content Delivery Summit—the longest-running and most established global conference for and about content delivery networks, their partners, and their customers—will take place in Boston on June 1, and I'm honored to chair this year's event. I have participated for many years as a moderator, panelist, and speaker, and am thrilled to be programming and chairing. Like any good event, the Content Delivery Summit (CDS) is only as good as the people who speak and attend, and the call for speakers is now open if you’d like to throw your hat in the ring.

While it is important to consider the business of content delivery, as CDS has for many years, I am unashamedly a technologist. I have built several large CDNs from ground up both in the video and the audio space, and over a period spanning two decades. I have also been a customer of CDNs, producing thousands of webcasts since 1996. Since 2008 I have been an advocate of microservices in the highly distributed CDN and live streaming space. So as a result, I find so many aspects of the industry’s technology interesting, not just the business, and I know you do too. 

Dom Robinson, Eric Klein, Flavio Ribeiro

Left to right: Dom Robinson interviews Disney's Eric Klein and CBS Interactive's Flavio Ribeiro at the 2019 Content Delivery Summit

I am also (hopefully) a little different from many conference chairs: I am not there to hold a gavel and time speakers, nor to try to be omniscient about all topics (although I have opinions on most!). I am there to act as facilitator, to drive the event, to lift the energy of the room, to connect delegates and speakers, to engage and draw the audience into participation, and to make sure that everyone leaves with new contacts, ideas, solutions, and inspiration. 

These aims are reflected in the programming of CDS this year. 

A crucial element of this year's event is also to have a structured narrative through the day—a story that progresses through the sessions. There will be no “random jumping around the topics” as every other conference seems to do. We will also not be dominated by buzzword bingo! Yes, of course the latest innovation and industry predictions will be in there, but in context of a day that will take a holistic view of the sector, working up the OSI Network Stack Model from the power that lights the physical fibres and data centres, through the latest silicon innovation driving high density, low energy compute infrastructure, into the last mile and consumer devices, and how they all come together to enable CDNs to deliver the finest services possible to vast global audiences on behalf of their customers.

To their customers, CDNs are aggregators of a vast array of underlying technology products and services. They allow large content publishers to buy access to these complex supply chains in single relatively simple contracts through a single consolidated provider. Outsourcing the complexity of buying and managing those complex supply chains is one of the key roles of the CDNs. Nonetheless, both the CDNs and their customers must understand the options, nuances, innovations, and challenges in that supply chain to ensure they make the best strategic decisions in the year to come. Throughout the event, attendees will learn about suppliers of the myriad components of those supply chains and how they affect the solutions they comprise.

Often misunderstood in the exploding world of online content delivery is the fact that power and electricity supply is far more of a constraint to scaling the availability of CDN services than bandwidth. We will hear from speakers who have been involved in deploying some of the largest hosting and intercontinental fiber links over the past few years, and discuss in depth how technology decisions further up the stack can have considerable impact on the demands placed on these fundamental lower layers. Such decisions may include the choice of silicon available to the computers in the data centers or the location of the POPs with regards to submarine landing stations and metropolitan area networks. In the same way, looking downstream from the CDN, we will explore the regional carrier networks, CDN peering, and interconnectivity strategies, as well as emerging wireless technologies that promise ever increasing demands will be met.

And that's all before lunch!

CDN were the first truly scaled cloud operators, some 10 years before the big public cloud operators emerged. They are a decade ahead in experience in orchestration of highly distributed computing infrastructures. We will explore how they can orchestrate and leverage that distributed network, manage it optimally and how that capability is helping the modern CDN lead the way in fog network operations and emerging schisms in edge computing strategies.

Of course, being co-located with StreamingMedia East, CDS will as always have a strong focus on that most demanded of all IP traffic: video. We will focus on the current and up-and-coming transport and container protocols and how and when they are being deployed. We will also dive into latency, compression, security, and all the key touchpoints where CDNs and the streaming video industry meet.

And finally, to ensure the networking is more than a few informal beers together, there will be a special edition the monthly SMAF webcast where Eric Schumacher-Rasmussen, Tim Siglin, and I will host an entertaining 50-min live stream inviting delegates and speakers to answer questions (contributed by other delegates and speakers) drawn from a hat, and let them wax lyrical for just a few minutes to both amuse and entertain us with the more outlandish opinions that otherwise never make it to conference programmes. This was one of the most popular parts of last year and will be an essential part of the programme going forward!

Attendee registration is open now (both standalone and as a part of Streaming Media East) but if you are interested to join a panel or to speak on these topics, please submit a speaking proposal as soon as possible—we are still a few weeks away from finalising our speaker slots and we would love to have your insights during the day! Contact me if you have any questions.Several of the sponsorship opportunities also include speaking slots—contact Joel Unickow at joel@infotoday.com or (250) 933-1111 for more information.

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