Article

CDNs and ECDNs offer vastly different networking options

By Stephen Blankenship – Director, Product Management

As an enterprise technology leader, you’ve probably heard all of the technology hype that’s out there. You’re used to the marketing schemes and have a discerning eye for the terminology that used to make a product sound better, even if it doesn’t actually mean anything. So when you see the enterprise content delivery network tag put onto the traditional content delivery network label, it’s understandable that you are somewhat suspicious. However, this is an instance in which the enterprise label represents a critical technological distinction that leads to completely different functionality.

CDN functionality
A content delivery network is primarily used as part of a web hosting solution. The purpose of the solution is to streamline data delivery to the end user accessing a website. This presents a vital strategic advantage for businesses. As companies depend more on their web presence, having good load times and reliable delivery that avoids dropped data packets is key in reaching consumers effectively. But a traditional CDN is limited primarily to this role.

ECDN capabilities
An enterprise content delivery network takes the core capabilities of a CDN, but brings them inside the corporate firewall. This broadens what the solution can be used for and makes it possible to host high-performance solutions, such as an enterprise video platform, without adversely impacting other parts of the network.

Strategic benefits of an ECDN
The ability to bring video data and similar information into the corporate firewall ensures that the high-quality content being sent to employees is delivered with minimal, if any, latency, without dropped data packets and without getting in the way of application traffic. These capabilities are vital when developing an enterprise video program because performance is heavily based on avoiding common network issues like latency and data packet transmission problems.

Furthermore, one common drawback of a video solution is that it can, when not managed effectively, use up so much of the network’s bandwidth that users not watching video content suffer from those who are. This means that somebody accessing a mission-critical application may experience performance problems because another worker is holding a live event webcast. While both uses are critical, the network cannot always handle them. Using an ECDN essentially divides the video content from the other types of data going through the network and prevents performance disruption.

-Stephen

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