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Watch out Cloudflare, Cisco is launching a content delivery network service

(Image credit: Shutterstock / Ken Wolter)

The CDN market is about to get a whole lot more competitive as Cisco, Qwilt and Digital Alpha have announced that they will release a new as-a-service offering based on Open Caching with UK telecom BT as its flagship customer.

Streaming video content is increasingly being delivered in 4K and with 8K just around the corner, network capacity demands will need to be increased. At the same time, internet video traffic is expected to comprise 82 percent of all consumer internet traffic by 2022 which is up from 73 percent in 2017.

Increased performance requirements are helping to accelerate the shift away from traditional content delivery models. As a result of this, an opportunity has opened for service providers to use their edge assets to deploy their own distributed CDN capabilities.

Open Caching is an open architecture developed and endorsed by the Streaming Video Alliance that offers a platform which federates content delivery infrastructure inside service provider networks into a global CDN with open APIs for content publishers.

CDN as-a-service

The new CDN offering will use investments from Digital Alpha combined with Qwilt's content delivery platform based on Open Caching and Cisco's edge computer and networking infrastructure to deliver the solution as-a-service to service providers of all sizes around the world.

BT has already deployed the new solution to add multiple terabits per second of capacity and to provide cost-effective, high-quality streaming video to meet the growing demand of its customers. The telecom decided to make the transition to Open Caching as it is able to deliver the highest-quality streaming experience across its entire network and supports an open architecture endorsed by the Streaming Video Alliance.

Senior vice president and general manager of Cisco's Mass Scale Infrastructure Group Jonathan Davidson explained why the company decided to enter the CDN market in a press release, saying:

“Streaming video may be the killer app for the internet, but it doesn’t have to KILL the internet. With streaming video expected to represent north of 80% of traffic flowing through service provider networks in the coming years, content delivery is the first of potentially many services they can deploy from within to monetize their edge footprint in the 5G era. Marking this milestone together with Qwilt and Digital Alpha to enable edge cloud services for service providers, we can change the economics of the internet for the future, partnering with customers like BT to help them manage video traffic more effectively.” 

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