Digital Teamsters

Content is easy to create. Cost effective delivery (and collecting payment for same) remains the challenge. Today let me pretend to get technical by referencing an article from the discusses content delivery networks. I will also link to resources I used to help me get a grasp of CDNs. Web managers may get more out of this than pseudo-techhies like me.

Thanks to Paid Content for pointing me to the article entitled, Commoditization and the Future of Content Delivery Networks (Part One). Writer Geoff Daily provides this definition to launch the piece: “CDNs provide a scalable means through which content publishers can get their assets onto the Internet without having to pay for, set up, and tend to a series of servers … Traditionally, a CDN consists of a network of geographically distributed servers with a suite of services and applications built around managing various aspects of delivering digital media online.”

The thrust of the article is how CDN vendors differentiate in this commoditized environment. All I need to know on that score is that if I ever need to negotiate for CDN services, I can make the competing salesteams sharpen their pencils.

CNDs listed in the article include: “Limelight Networks, a CDN for the media and entertainment industry; Akamai, which cemented its size advantage by its recent acquisition of number-two Speedera; Mirror Image (which, Geoff says, “has tried to stay ahead of the curve through development of its content targeting”); and VitalStream.

One other paragraph from the article struck me. Geoff quoted Kris Alexander, product manager for the Akamai Media Delivery division, as saying: “The three major things that we keep hearing from the market other than scalability and performance are how do you store and manage the growing number of digital assets, how do you protect those digital assets through the management of licenses, and how do you gain access to more detailed, granular analytics about how consumers are using those digital assets.”

I found another resource on CDNs, maintained by Lehigh University professor Brian Davidson. It contains a longer list of CDNs (though it may not be up to date), and some tutorials about caching that went over my head but might help a webmaster climb the learning curve.

Tom Abate
Cause if you ain’t Mass Media, you’re Mini Media