12/15 2023

What is a CDN? The Key Behind Streaming Platform Success

Netflix and chill? Video streaming is now a part of our daily routine. From binge-watching on Netflix to catching up on YouTube, we all love the convenience. Did you know? Netflix has 200 million users, and YouTube has over 2.5 billion! Shows like ‘The Glory’ can draw over 46 million viewers worldwide. It makes you wonder, how do streaming services handle so many people watching at once?

What is CDN?

Content Delivery Network (CDN) is a crucial technology for major media streaming services today, aiming to enhance the speed and performance of content delivery across various internet platforms. Imagine if a popular episode of Squid Game were stored only on a single server—the high traffic from millions of simultaneous viewers could frequently crash the system.

CDN sets up copies of video content on server nodes in data centers worldwide. This setup enables video distribution to different regions for user viewing. By utilizing CDN nodes and directing traffic based on user locations, it routes this traffic to the nearest server node, reducing data transmission distances and delays. Consequently, it enhances the performance and availability of websites, applications, or streaming services.

How CDN works?

Here is a flowchart of CDN:

CDN distributes traffic from server servers to node servers to provide it to users.

Usually, when we watch videos or shows, we connect to CDN’s node servers to access content. This means we don’t have to fight for resources on one main server, so we get speedy access to videos. CDN works based on these four key advantages:

1. Content caching:

CDN stores copies of content such as websites, images, and apps on node servers. These servers are spread across data centers worldwide, allowing users quick access when needed.

2. Proximity delivery:

CDN automatically selects the closest node when users visit a website or request specific content. It then transfers the content to the device, reducing data transfer time and delays, thereby improving response speed.

3. Load balancing:

CDN dynamically allocates requests based on traffic and server conditions, ensuring efficient content delivery. This manages traffic and prevents overload.

4. Content updates:

This means app managers can easily update content and swiftly distribute new content to CDN server nodes when needed.

Advantages of CDN?

Compared to on-prem systems, there was a need to purchase new servers or deploy servers globally during peak traffic times to achieve rapid content distribution and delivery. However, this approach isn’t cost-effective for businesses. Netflix transformed its media service from DVD rentals to internet streaming, leveraging CDN as a solution and reshaping how content delivery is perceived in the industry.

Enhanced website performance

By reducing delays and improving load times, CDN enhances user experience, lowers bounce rates, and boosts webpage rankings. This is crucial for B2C marketing because if a website takes too long to load, users might lose patience and opt out of using its services.

Improved availability

Like AWS’ Elastic Load Balancer (ELB), is its ability to distribute load traffic during server failures or peak traffic times, ensuring the stability and availability of websites or applications.

Cost savings

Using CDN helps companies cut down on network traffic costs because CDN can provide most content from nearby caching servers, reducing data transmission expenses.

Did you know? The global media giant Netflix now operates entirely on the AWS cloud. Besides using Amazon CloudFront, it utilizes AWS Local Zones, allowing remote collaboration for creators and ensuring low-latency effects in media content delivery.

CDN 是什麼? Netflix 如何用CDN打造影音龍頭巨擘?
Thanks to CDN, we now enjoy the advantage of quick access to content services.

Amazon Prime Video streams NFL games live to 18 million viewers

Amazon Prime utilizes AWS to ensure stable streaming experiences, broadcasting NFL Thursday Night Football games in over 200 countries/regions and delivering thrilling content to more than 18 million football fans. Various AWS services, including Amazon CloudFront and other third-party CDNs, are leveraged to offer low-latency live streaming services to global customers.

With emerging trends in new media content like short videos or on-demand shows, even small businesses require CDN solutions for high-speed transmission and reduced latency. Contact Nextlink immediately to deploy CDN-related technology for the media and entertainment industries. This empowers businesses to strengthen brand positioning and capture new customer segments in the era of audiovisual marketing!

Explore the AWS Industry Guide for Media and Entertainment to understand how to optimize user experiences, save costs, and make breakthroughs in the industry using CDN.