CDN Roundup: Rackspace, Verizon, CloudFront
November 19th, 2008 By: Rich Miller
It’s been a busy week for the content delivery network (CDN) sector, as Amazon’s launch of its CloudFront has been followed by several significant developments that further expand options for CDN customers:
- Verizon (VZ) announced that it has deployed a dedicated peer-to-peer content delivery network on its infrastructure. Verizon will use technology from Velocix that can cache popular content, and then seeds the files from servers within the ISP’s network, reducing network traffic. Verizon’s approach offers interesting decisions for content providers who are currently using Akamai or Limelight but covet Verizon’s FiOS customer base. See additional coverage and analysis at Contentinople and Telecom Ramblings.
- Rackspace’s Mosso unit has launched its CDN, which allows CloudFiles customers to use Limelight Networks to deliver their files. Gartner’s Lydia Leong compared it with Amazon’s new CloudFront CDN: ”Competitively, it seems like Rackspace’s Cloud Files plus Limelight may turn out to be the stronger offering,” Leong writes. “The price of Rackspace/Limelight is slightly higher, but apparently there’s no origin retrieval charge, and Limelight has a broader footprint and therefore probably better global performance.”
- In that same post, Gartner’s Leong also provided an assessment of the impact of Amazon’s CDN. She writes: “Some people will undoubtedly excitedly hype CloudFront as a game-changer. It’s not. It’s certainly yet another step towards having ubiquitous edge delivery of all popular static content, and the prices are attractive at low to moderate volumes, but high-volume customers can and will get steeper discounts from established players with bigger footprints and a richer feature set. It’s a logical move on Amazon’s part, and a useful product that’s going to find a large audience, but it’s not going to majorly shake up the CDN industry, other than to accelerate the doom of small undifferentiated providers who were already well on their way to rolling into the fiery pit of market irrelevance and insolvency.”
One important note — while the Velocix caching equipment is capable of supporting P2P caching, Verizon is not using them for that purpose. Verizon is using them primarily for the caching of video content, with the possibility of using P4P-enabled file distribution in the future, if that becomes a more popular way of transmitting content.
Many thanks for the clarification. I’ve updated the story accordingly.
Do you know if this is exclusive, or could Velocix offer the same capability to other large ISPs?
Rich — As far as I know, the deal is non-exclusive in the U.S. As I noted in my story, Velocix is working with U.K. ISPs to enable the same types of deals there.
That last message was from me — too early in the morning!