As the World Wide Web continues to spin its intoxicating and invigorating web – and continues to improve and speed up global communications – speed of delivery is becoming an issue, one of the main reasons why the “next kid on the block”, the enterprise content delivery network (CDN), is growing in popularity.
Jacek Dziembowski, a director of video streaming specialist, Antfarm, says that while the WWW, or Internet, has galvanised communication around the globe – as employees seek for the same experience on their company networks as they have become accustomed to on the Internet – speed of dissemination is becoming more of an issue.
“Companies want more and more from their wide area networks (WANs) – and they want their communications to be better and faster – and include more rich content. This is leading to an increase in bottlenecks over the company network as delivering data, including more and more video starts to saturate internal bandwidth links compelling the case for an enterprise CDN.
“It must be noted that many legacy company/enterprise networks, were not dimensioned to carry the snowballing amount of words, movies, pictures and data. It is just too much.
“A growing number of companies have recognised this and are now deploying enterprise CDNs to facilitate the faster delivery of the growing amount of content, thereby ensuring that employees, partners, clients (and potential clients) have unencumbered, and almost immediate access, to bandwidth rich information they want to consume.
“We are in the digital era – a new epoch – and in order to survive and prosper in this digitally driven time, companies need to ensure that they equip themselves properly. That is kind of what an enterprise CDN is like,” says Dziembowski.
“Essentially, an enterprise CDN is an extension of the Internet CDN, offering infrastructure that lets companies deliver rich digital media to employees, vendors, partners and customers worldwide – in the fastest amount time possible, and the cheapest rate possible.”
Enterprise CDNs are also becoming increasingly sought-after because they can increase a network’s performance – in terms of scalability and reliability.
It can enhance content availability, allowing users to move around content / access live video streams closer to end users via logistically well-placed CDN nodes, helping to cut back on business travel and business training expenses by supporting e-learning applications.
“It’s just the smart way of thinking. Big companies will be able deploy applications such as live video streaming and /or conferencing easily and more affordably, cutting back on the need for face-to-face meetings spanning a myriad of branches dotted around a country.
“There is a cost associated with  implementing an enterprise CDN, but the return on investment in the way of cost saving becomes apparent over time. The investment pays for itself over and over again,” says Dziembowski.
Private versus public CDNs
Dziembowski says that while the enterprise CDN is still in its infancy, there still seems to be a misunderstanding of the difference between the public CDN (the Akamai of this industry) versus the private or enterprise CDN.
“There is a very important difference,” he explains. “A public CDN is used to improve performance of content delivery on the Internet. When it comes to the public CDN the end-user essentially accesses content from a location that a CDN has mirrored across the global Internet, so that the desired information is closer to end-users, thereby improving the quality and the speed of delivery.
“The fundamental goal here is to reduce the number of router hops and sluggish peering links that occurs between the various Internet backbones. When it comes to a private, or an enterprise CDN, the company is delivering content to his own staff over its own enterprise network and not the Internet.
“Here the company has control over the network, with the target audience mainly consisting of the company’s employees – who are connected to the enterprise network,” says Dziembowski.
Like flicking the switch to ignite the NOS on that supercar in the iconic movie, The Fast and the Furious.
But, at the end of the day, it is about pushing information faster, and closer, to the end-user. It’s like putting NOS into a “souped-up” car – and seeing the actor, Vin Diesel, flicking a nitro switch in The Fast and the Furious. The car just travels that much faster, as if on steroids. The bottlenecks are literally left standing.