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What is a CDN and How You Can Use it to Optimize Video Streaming?

By Bareerah Shoukat
A graphical representation of a CDN network

It can be frustrating when you decide to watch a favorite video, and it lags. How about an important live conference that keeps buffering? These issues can be annoying. As an organization, you would want to share content with the maximum number of people seamlessly. Here is where the concept of CDN for video streaming comes in.

Approximate 63.2% of the world population use the internet. Furthermore, it is expected that by 2022, 72% of all internet traffic will cross CDNs. This just goes to show how much important using a CDN is.

In this blog, we’ll explain what a Content Delivery Network (CDN) is and how they work. Furthermore, we will be discussing the value of CDNs in video streaming and their benefits.

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What is a CDN (Content Delivery Network)?

In simple words, a CDN refers to a system that has geographically dispersed servers to transfer media files by caching them. As a result, they provide a high-quality and seamless video experience. These networks typically cache content and store it in multiple locations. The video is then streamed from the nearest server to the user. 

Content Delivery Network is also referred to as “Content Distribution Network.” The terms are used interchangeably.

Businesses, in particular, can’t afford the cost of deploying servers worldwide when it comes to the increasing demand for data. As a result, they usually rely on CDN providers (Akamai, Cloudflare etc.) who have their servers deployed globally, for their content delivery.

The Mechanics of a CDN

Content can be of any type, such as text, videos, images and much more that can go through a CDN. It basically allows a dispersed network of servers for your content. Typically, what happens is when a viewer requests to see content, it is directed towards the nearest server or the “edge” server that serves the content.

Simple Explanation of How CDN Works

The distance between the server and the user adds potential latency to the internet connection. Essentially, CDN video streaming can make up a smooth streaming experience. A top-notch CDN maximizes quality and reduces buffering for secure video streaming.

The speed of content reaching your device depends on the internet speed and the distance from the origin server. For instance, a video may load very slowly if the server is located at a distance and may load quicker if it's fetched from a nearby CDN that has it cached.

Why Use a CDN for Video Streaming?

By connecting servers worldwide, CDNs cut down the time to deliver video content from origin to end-user. Benefits of CDN Video Streaming includes:

  • Reduce Latency by Minimizing Distance

The principle is the same as described in the above paragraph. The closer the server is to the end-user, the faster the video will load and play.

  • Origin Server is Not Overloaded (Load Balancing)

Instead of overwhelming the origin server, a group of servers can handle streaming video to hundreds of viewers far better than just a single server.

  • Content Doesn’t Exceed the Bandwidth

Just like limiting cars to one lane can increase traffic, similarly, a network can pass through data within its bandwidth. If a stream happens to deliver from multiple CDN servers, the network is less likely to be stuffed with traffic.

Top 5 Video CDN Based on Performance

According to CDNPerf following are the top performing CDN based on multiple test

1. 5cents CDN

Starting from 5 cents par GB, its query speed is 23.00ms making it in the top.

2. Google Cloud CDN

With global scaling and reach, Google Cloud CDN query speed 24.00ms.

3.  AWS CloudFront CDN

Securely delivers data such as videos seamlessly. AWS CloudFront CDN query speed is 25.00ms.

4. Akamai CDN

With Rum Uptime of 97.17 and query speed of 26.00ms Akamai CDN makes it in top four              

5. Azure CDN

CDN provided by Microsoft as a part of Azure offering has query speed of 31.00ms.

Note that for seamless video streaming, preferred CDNs are AWS CloudFront CDN and Azure CDN due to their security features on top.         

Difference in Latency With And Without A CDN?

You can clearly see the difference thanks to the research carried out by keycdn and we have summarized it in the infographic below:

CDN Video Streaming Infographic2

According to their research if the origin server is in Amsterdam, and the streaming also needs to be done in Amsterdam; it will not affect latency with or without CDN. However, if the streaming needs to be done globally, you can clearly see the difference in latency by using a CDN. Hence, a CDN is recommended if video streaming needs to be done globally.  

Complete Video Streaming Solution with CDNs

What is a better way to make most out of a CDN is to combine it with video hosting platform. As a business, you need more of a professional platform that will provide the user more capabilities for enhanced video delivery. You’ll be getting the benefits of a CDN and a video platform all at once.

You must be wondering, Alright, a video hosting platform! Which one? Our suggestion VIDIZMO. Video Streaming CDN is not only about catering to buffering issues. It has other factors that a video content management such as VIDIZMO can offer.

EnterpriseTube New Layout-02 (2)-1

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  • A YouTube-like video portal to stream live and on-demand videos to your external and internal audiences.
  • Stream videos using HLS so that the there are no bandwidth issues and the video is played seamlessly in almost every device and operating system.
  • Video transcoding for all your videos to ensure optimized playback.
  • With an enterprise content delivery network (ecdn) stream videos to a large audience on your corporate network by caching videos internally.
  • Scalable live streaming enables you to stream regardless of the users. Scalable to an unlimited number of users while streaming on any device.
  • With AI video software, all videos can be automatically transcribed and translated
  • Rich security is another factor offered by VIDIZMO. For example, you can restrict user access to videos by limited sharing, such as the number of views, link expiry time, or role-based access.
  • You can also limit by segregating your content in users and groups and permitting desired roles to access the content.
  • VIDIZMO also provides a responsive HTML 5 video player to be embedded on any website. It is customizable and can complement your brand colors. Thus, you can utilize cutting-edge technology to your advantage.

Wrapping Up

CDN video streaming combined with a video hosting platform is the one to opt for to cater to your peace of mind. After all, why should online video delivery be this complex? VIDIZMO ensures you get the highest quality and no service disruption by utilizing all CDN capabilities.

If you are still looking for the right video hosting platform, make the most out of VIDIZMO’s free trial today.

Learn More About VIDIZMO Enterprise Video Platform

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Posted by Bareerah Shoukat

Bareerah is a product strategist at VIDIZMO - An expert in video streaming technologies. She helps businesses create marketing content that connects with their audience.

Tags: EVCM

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