by March 20, 2014 0 comments

Many enterprises need to share applications and data with their customers and partners across vast geographical distances. Unfortunately, long distance causes a dramatic impact on application performance and customer satisfaction. Traditionally, this has been addressed by using a Content Delivery Network (CDN) to distribute data closer to the end users. However, CDN solutions are expensive and have several drawbacks, including limited flexibility, manageability and scaling challenges. These limitations today can be addressed with an alternative solution called the “Content Delivery Cloud” (CDC). The Content Delivery Cloud can utilize public or private infrastructure to provide the points of presence that offer a private ‘CDN-like’ experience for high-speed, global delivery of business web content. As it’s based on virtual technology, it supports these services without a need for large initial capital investment or a complex infrastructure, and can be scaled on demand. Upgrading your CDN to a CDC can improve business web performance, lower costs and provide greater flexibility to content owners and customer in the following five ways:

Higher Flexibility: Enterprise application and content demand is dynamic and can change for a variety of reasons and at any time. Many application owners can trigger demand just with the release of patches or software upgrades, while some users can trigger it when a game or news story goes viral. A content delivery cloud, on the other hand, gives organizations a rapidly deployable, highly customizable infrastructure with global presence.
On-demand Scalability: Limited or non-existent programmatic access can limit a CDN’s ability to scale on demand and to manage the application layer that results in additional development costs. With a content delivery cloud, organizations can have access to tools and interfaces that will allow organizations to programmatically adjust and scale their infrastructure and deliver services on demand. This reduces costs due to a decrease in bandwidth required to deliver applications.

Information Security: In a traditional CDN, the provider would need to have copies of the relevant SSL certificates stored on their SSL caching servers throughout their infrastructure, or the organization would have to use shared SSL certificates. Divulging this SSL information exposes confidential data to external vulnerabilities and threats. On the other hand, using a CDC takes this security vulnerability away and ensures that the organization is aware of both where content will be stored, and that it will be delivered securely with SSL certificates stored on servers under the organization’s control.

Easy Manageability: In many cases, organizations have customer site requirements that can expand beyond the control of a single CDN provider forcing them to deploy a complex and costly multi-vendor solution to achieve the geographic reach, required for business needs. With a CDC, they can have a private, custom-built infrastructure that is centrally administered by their own IT staff and not a third party provider. This infrastructure will not only deliver the global reach and performance that they require for content delivery, but also a central point of control to easily incorporate business policy and SLAs, since a CDC is centrally managed and operates over a common cloud infrastructure.

Network Resource Optimization: The availability of optimization features, such as web content optimization (WCO), is typically limited in CDNs. With advanced optimization features, a CDC can do much more for the application experience. Organizations can give users a better experience based on their unique characteristics including browsing platform or location. Typically applications can run three to five times faster while saving bandwidth usage and costs, by up to 50%.

Content delivery cloud platforms have emerged as a viable and superior alternative to CDNs, giving the content owner, improved flexibility and control over content delivery. With the right investment in a CDC technology, organizations get all the performance benefits of a CDN while maintaining control over their digital assets, without a need for complex and binding contracts.

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