Authored by David Tencer, Product Owner
Have you ever set up a CDN using Anevia’s NEA-CDN software? If so, you experienced first hand how simple the process can be. NEA-CDN comes as a USB key with the product preinstalled on a Linux OS. Simply insert the key into a server, boot on the device and voilà! NEA-CDN may also be supplied as pre-installed software on standard COTS servers to make things even simpler. This was the scenario until now.
Lighter and more flexible
NEA-CDN is currently undergoing a major technology change. Upcoming version 5.0 will be supplied as a container, to be used with the Docker container platform. Operators interested in virtualising their CDN infrastructure will find this a great improvement. Indeed, using CDN servers as Docker containers streamlines and greatly simplifies the process of scaling an OTT service.
Traditionally, increasing the capacity of a CDN requires the operator to plan ahead and invest in new servers to match the expected viewer traffic. Alternatively, the issue could be addressed by increasing cloud resources, at the cost of configuration efforts to turn virtualised machines into CDN servers. This made it difficult to increase or decrease CDN capacities on the fly. The overall cost could also be hard to evaluate accurately and sometimes lead to surprises, as explained here.
No more capacity planning
With NEA-CDN supplied as a Docker container, orchestrated through the Kubernetes container management system, OTT operators can scale their service up and down, by using virtualised OS hosts over an internal or external cloud infrastructure. All that is required is an accessible Kubernetes cluster (available on most public clouds) and, of course, a NEA-CDN 5.0 configuration.
There are two main benefits to this approach. First, scaling the service, for temporary or permanent requirements, can be carried out literally within minutes. This also means setting up a private cloud infrastructure for an OTT operator’s mainstream traffic and adding external cloud resources on the fly ahead of sports events that are likely to generate high viewing peaks becomes a valid strategy.
The second major benefit of using a container model is that processes are separated from the underlying hardware. In other words, it is no longer necessary to set up separate servers for the CDN and other processes. Operators may run their applications separately over the same private or public cloud infrastructure, within orchestrated containers.
A true elastic CDN
Ultimately, NEA-CDN opens up new potential for OTT operators to increase or decrease their CDN infrastructure in a more flexible way, also switching their investment strategy from a capital expenditure (CAPEX) to an operational expenditure (OPEX) model. At the same time, operators may rely on generic private or public cloud resources, on which they are free to run all their required processes, CDN or other, within containers. An operator may therefore create a private cloud infrastructure and easily balance the load between different processes. OTT operators looking for technology that allows for a true elastic CDN will be happy to know the solution they were hoping for is now within reach.
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