The Internet... And Beyond: Making Sure Your Content Doesn't Get Jammed On The Move

By Ashwin Rao, Director, Limelight Networks, India

The internet has become a force to reckon with as it has virtually transformed everything in the traditional market. Today, people buy groceries online, book cabs at the touch of a button, avail the latest fashion from the comfort of their homes, purchase stocks without calling a broker, and binge watch entire TV series in a single night. And as we head towards our future, the internet infrastructure and IT services are increasingly predominant across all spheres of life.

At present, global internet penetration has reached an estimated 4.38 billion people as various governments and businesses are on a mission to add the next billion users. Clearly, the digital opportunity is augmenting with every day that passes. The global economy is undergoing unprecedented productivity with ever-connected and on-the-go experience that the internet offers. However, if you are a business looking to tap this emerging digital opportunity, there is something that you need to consider.

“The best aspect of CDNs is that they also provide superior insights as they collect highly enriched, user-centric information - which can be used for data analytics and improving the market understanding”

Need for Speed: The Pressing Demand for a Robust Content Delivery Network

Do you know that around half of your incoming traffic (49.1 percent) will leave if your website is slow to load? 42 percent of binge watchers will give up on a series if they have a bad streaming experience – and 50 percent of them will never return. 88 percent of consumers get frustrated with how digital content is processed, with 36.5 percent blaming re-buffering as their primary concern, Given such startling market insights, the current challenge is to make sure you provide the best possible digital experience.

                                         Ashwin Rao, Director, Limelight Networks, India

In other words, intensifying your digital presence on a global scale requires the perfect support infrastructure. The traditional remedy of availing more server space barely makes any difference today. The challenge has become increasingly more dynamic with the adoption of different devices (such as laptops, smartphones, tabs, etc.), different operating systems (such as Windows, macOS, Ubuntu, etc.), browsers that people use (Google Chrome, Safari, Firefox, Opera, etc.), web applications, and the simple fact that the end-user could be very far from the origin server (data centre) where the web application files are transmitted from.

Such challenges require a superior content delivery solution such as a Content Delivery Network (CDN). A CDN is typically a network of data centre and proxy servers that stores and delivers information (including web content, media files, etc.) on behalf of its clientele to the end-users. Such CDNs might or might not leverage a global private internet infrastructure comprising fibre cables. The ones that do are able to circumvent the network congestion issues that are frequently experienced within the public internet. They also enable anything from an OTT platform to an e-commerce website – to flexibly scale operations without making high-value infrastructural spends.

In terms of delivery, an ideal situation would be if your entire user base had a similar set of conditions, i.e. similar network connection, same device, same browser, and is located in the same region. But as we all know, this is never the case. Still, an end-user demands a consistent experience across all channels of interactions. CDNs are able to ensure content remains readily available in the desired formats across various internet connected devices and geographies. Some of them, leveraging an avant-garde infrastructure, are even able to detect the prevailing network conditions, device, its OS, and every other factor that affects the user experience and the loading speed of a website. Then, they extend the desired files in the optimal format under those specific constraints.

The best aspect of CDNs is that they also provide superior insights as they collect highly enriched, user-centric information – which can be used for data analytics and improving the market understanding. This, ultimately, enables a business to make informed business decisions to more effectively tap the digital opportunity that is currently up for grabs at a global scale.

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