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Take your streaming business to the next level with Multi-CDN Strategy

Sreejata Basu Published on : 11 October 2019
Multi-CDN strategy for streaming businesses


As online video consumption is reaching new heights, the streaming industry is constantly facing challenges to deliver high-quality videos quickly and securely to end-users. Keeping pace with the changing dynamics of the streaming industry, content owners and streaming service providers around the world are taking quality of experience very seriously. To ensure a constant flow of high-quality videos to end-users around the world, more and more broadcasters and OTT providers are turning to a multi-CDN strategy.


What is Multi-CDN Strategy?

As we all know, a CDN or Content Delivery Network is a network of different geographically-connected servers situated across the globe used for faster delivery of content to end-users. 

In simple terms, CDNs move content closer to the end-user. So, if content is closer to the users requesting it, they will have a better user experience. 

Akamai, Amazon CloudFront, Cloudflare, MaxCD, Limelight are some of the well-known CDN providers. 

Now, a multi-CDN is a system where your content is distributed with not one but several CDN providers. 

What happens in a multi-CDN environment is, instead of  centralizing online content on a comparatively limited number of servers, the content is cached across several CDN servers dispersed around the world.

This system enables seamless delivery of content to end-users no matter where they are located. A multi-CDN option allows routing of your content to the most optimal server located closest to the user requesting it, thus ensuring lower latency and faster delivery of your content.

How Multi-CDN strategy works for online streaming


How is Multi-CDN becoming so popular?

Running a global high-performance streaming platform with millions of audiences requesting access to your videos is becoming more challenging with every passing day. Streaming platforms should always be available to deliver lightning-fast videos to end-users from Egypt to Ethiopia in spite of witnessing accelerating device proliferation. 

Rich streaming content in the form of playback video, live stream, AR and VR now demand better performance from content providers, such as lower latency, improved load times, minimal disruptions and higher transfer speed. 

However, in such a demanding scenario, a single CDN is often prone to suffer from problems such as outages, vulnerability to DDoS attacks, disruptions, etc. Also, they are prone to network congestion during peak hours when content consumption is maximum. 

In contrast, a multi-CDN option offers reliable alternative strategies against outages and DDoS attacks as it intelligently switches traffic to other available CDNs when one is down. This is why more and more OTT services like Netflix are switching to a multi-CDN strategy to deliver continuous uptime and enhanced QoE to customers. Currently, Netflix uses three CDNs to deliver on-demand video content to users across the world.


5 Reasons why you should opt for a Multi-CDN Strategy

In an era where content delivery can be an expensive and complex process, a multi-CDN strategy will help you ensure higher availability, better performance through effective failover mechanisms and better security. We have compiled a list of reasons as to why you should now adopt a multi-CDN strategy for your streaming business. 


1. Better Geographical Reach

The performance of a single CDN often varies from one location to the other- it may perform well in some locations and not so well in others. It is not possible for a single CDN to have excellent coverage around the world. That’s because each CDN has its own Points of Presence or PoPs whose performance varies from one location to another. 

However, if you use a multi-CDN strategy, you can ensure better coverage by choosing the most optimal CDN server that performs well in a particular geographical region. By re-routing the traffic to the most efficient CDN, a multi-CDN system helps improve latency and availability. 


2. Effective failover mechanism

If you have your own live streaming channel, you would know the way how millions of viewers ardently follow live events. Receiving high latency video streams kills their video watching experience and force them to eventually leave the platform.

However, implementing a multi-CDN strategy would resolve this problem as several CDNs provide a much better failover mechanism- if one CDN fails to deliver low latency streams, another CDN can take over and perform the function seamlessly. In this way, you can constantly deliver lightning-fast live videos to millions of viewers.


3. Constant availability and redundancy

Even the best CDN providers operating large commercial networks do not provide unlimited capacity, thus, leading to network congestion and outages during peak hours. However with multi-CDN strategy, you do not have to face this problem as at any given point of time, a CDN server will be available to deliver your high-definition content. 


4. Enhanced CDN performance

Different CDNs provide different specialized features- while some are good at providing effective live streaming, others may specialize in static content optimization or, say, security. As a streaming service provider, you need to provide a variety of live and on-demand content. So, by opting for a multi-CDN strategy, you can choose the best CDN for the type of content it specializes. 


5. Efficient cost management system

At first, you may think that having a multi-CDN solution is expensive because you have to pay more CDN providers instead of one. But, this strategy will prove to be beneficial for you in the long run and bring about a better ROI through higher customer QoE. Using a multi-CDN strategy will enable you to compare cost and quality by dispersing your traffic across several CDNs, empowering you to optimize your ROI through an increase in flexibility and redundancy. 

In a survey carried out by Muvi, only 35% of our customers cared about cost-effectiveness while managing the storage and streaming of videos while a staggering 76% cared about better user experience through faster video start-up times and buffering. This proves the fact that content owners of the present generation keep user experience as a priority than simply considering cost-effectiveness as the only factor to consider.

Also, CDNs are becoming increasingly commoditized and partnering with one CDN provider is no longer offering a financial benefit it once did for streaming content owners. With a multi-CDN solution, however, streaming service providers can optimize their contract commit usage by opting for Pay As You Go plan with each CDN vendor or provider and avoid expensive surcharges.  


Is multi-CDN only for big businesses?

Initially, when the concept of multi-CDNs was at its introductory stage, only enterprise customers were using it due to the fact of the immense traffic they generated. But today, in an era where millions of millennials all around the world are constantly streaming high-quality videos on their smartphones, tablets and smart TVs, even medium and small-sized businesses have started opting for a multi-CDN strategy. Mostly, they are looking at multi-CDN solutions through OTT platform providers since it is much more cost and time-effective.


Why using a multi-CDN solution through an OTT service provider the best option for you?

Planning and implementing your optimal Multi-CDN strategy involves many technicalities. It involves making your workflow multi-CDN ready, engaging with multiple CDN providers or vendors and then planning your multi-CDN strategy based on your business criteria, cost factors and quality considerations. 

Therefore, instead of following such lengthy and complex procedures, the best option for you is to opt for an online video platform provider that bundles several CDNs for seamless video delivery. 

Service providers automatically balance the traffic load by dispersing it across multiple CDNs saving you a lot of time and labor since the service provider itself takes responsibility for monitoring the CDNs. Also, since the service provider purchases bulk bandwidth from each CDN provider, you may benefit by paying a cheaper rate to the streaming service provider.

Streaming platform providers perform all the technicalities in the back-end and decide which CDN server is available to deliver content and diverts the traffic through CDN switching techniques based on factors such as location, cost and performance.


Wrapping up

Delivering an exceptional user experience to your audience has become more important than ever in this streaming era. Viewers want to stream high-quality videos with faster start-up times and zero buffering. In such a scenario, delivering content through a single CDN does not always provide the best possible user experience for your end-users. As a content owner, you want your streaming platform to be available at all times to every end-user no matter where they are located. As explained in our blog, this amazing feat can only be achieved by opting for a multi-CDN solution through a streaming service provider like Muvi.

Muvi can provide a multi-CDN integration strategy through which you can effectively deliver high-quality videos to users across the globe, effortlessly. We can configure multiple CDNs like Akamai, Amazon CloudFront, Cloudflare and the like to deliver lightning-fast videos to your users through intelligent cloud-based routing technology.


For more information regarding CDN switching parameters and strategies, refer our blog Everything you Need to Know about Multi CDN Switching.


Sign-up for a 14-day FREE trial now to explore our enterprise-grade multi-CDN strategy and ensure seamless content delivery across all regions.

Written by: Sreejata Basu

Sreejata is the Manager for Muvi’s Content Marketing unit. She is a passionate writer with a background in English Literature and music. By week Sreejata spends her time in the corporate world of Muvi, but on weekends she likes to take short hiking trips, watch movies and read interesting travelogues.

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