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The 'Edge' and CDN Performance

Network architecture has emerged as a key talking point in conversations between CDNs and prospects. But where is the "edge" anyway?

As competition heats up in the content delivery sector, some CDN providers are competing on price and others are emphasizing the strength of their infrastructure. Network architecture has emerged as a key talking point in conversations between CDNs and prospects, with some (notably Akamai) touting their "edge" infrastructure as an advantage over other providers with more centralized distribution.

Many customers want their content as near the "edge" as possible. But where exactly is the edge anyway? Dan Rayburn has an interesting post that discusses the many variables in CDN infrastructure and performance, including physical location, storage capacity, load balancing, DNS issues, cache fill data and more. Dan's article and the accompanying comments make for interesting reading.

Readers in the content delivery sector will also want to check out Silicon Alley Insider's lengthy Q&A with Akamai chief financial officer J.D. Sherman, who discusses traffic growth, compeititon and pricing in the CDN business. "We're not building out data centers so we're not making a long-term bet on the terabits of data we see coming," said Sherman. "We're making incremental investments and overlaying them over the public Internet. That allows us to be very flexible about where we put new capacity."    

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