CDN: An Essential Tool For Seamless Content Delivery

by Sohini Bagchi    Jul 05, 2017

Ersin Galioglu

CDNs or content delivery networks help companies to serve digital assets to end users on the Internet. It solves the bottlenecks related to performance, security and origin capacity. In an exclusive interaction with CXOToday, Ersin Galioglu, VP of Strategic Initiatives, Limelight Networks, talks about the trends and adoption of CDNs, and the way ahead. Excerpts:

CXOToday: What is the current scenario and adoption of Content Delivery Network in India? 

Ersin Galioglu: We have seen positive trends in the past few years. India is an emerging market for Content Delivery Network (CDN).  Over the past few years, startup culture has swept the land and entrepreneurs have started giving more importance to the digital experience of their end users. As the technology continues to evolve and web applications continue to grow, companies face the challenge of scaling their infrastructure to match the exponential rise in their audience numbers, all this with the burning need to shield their digital assets from intruders. These pain points have made the Indian market open to the CDN technology. Business who value long term engagements with their end-users and a hassle free digital experience are the early adopters.

CXOToday: How has the trend been in the content piracy and theft space from an unsecured network? 

Ersin Galioglu: Earlier applications were not profoundly rich in terms of digital assets and experience, thus performance used to carry more weight. The evolution of cellular technology witnessed spectrum of devices flooding the market. This resulted in industries engaging more and getting closer to their end users. Individuals, at the comfort of their sofa can watch a movie, shop online and exercise banking transaction and all this in parallel. While the industry has been successful in getting closer to the consumer, they have earned themselves a challenge to protect their assets. Financial organizations face challenges to protect their transaction records, media industry needs to protect their assets from piracy and so on. These challenges from multiple industry vectors were embraced by the CDN industry resulting in advanced security solutions covering almost all industry spaces. The security product line is well received by the industry and in today’s world we barely see an application that has not implemented any security measure.

CXOToday: How do you help customers to secure their content and mitigate attacks on websites and web servers

Ersin Galioglu: Limelight Cloud Security capabilities are integrated with our global content delivery network, and include important functionality to protect digital content from hackers, website volumetric attacks (DDoS), unauthorized access to content, and content theft. By blocking network and website attacks with globally distributed DDoS AI and WAF protection mechanisms, performance is not sacrificed for security, and our customer websites are available for business. Our entire Network is SSL ready and content is secure during transmission through the network, preventing intellectual property theft. Features like URL Tokenization keeps unauthorized users off copyrighted content. We keep innovating and upgrading our network to protect our customers against the latest threats.

CXOToday: What type of content is delivered over your private network?

Ersin Galioglu: Limelight Content Delivery Services ensure high performing and cost-effective content delivery of any kind of digital content—video, images, files, music, games, websites—to virtually any device, anywhere in the world. Whether it’s your website, videos, music, software, or games, your content needs to reach customers quickly, reliably, and securely.

CXOToday: What is the USP of Limelight Network’s Content Delivery Services?

Ersin Galioglu: Our Content Delivery Services provide higher performing, cost-effective content delivery, ensuring a better experience for our customers and their end customers. We are different from the traditional CDN vendor because of our dense centralized architecture. We are one of the largest private networks in the world. We have more than 80+ Points of presences at strategical points of the Globe, interconnected by our own or leased Fiber. Our private fiber optic network is exclusively dedicated to our customers and is not shared with any public Internet traffic. We control the quality of service upstream and down. When you are using Limelight, you are on a private highway of the internet and we can customize every cm of it for a smooth delivery of your traffic.

Moreover, our support model is based on building a lasting relationship with our clients. Our support teams are always local and will closely work with our clients. We have made a conscious decision to grow our India headcount slowly but organically along with our customers.

CXOToday: Who are your key customer and markets in India?

Ersin Galioglu: The CDN is a behind the scene solution and not a lot of people know that we are behind big brands when they try to deliver rich media content in India. Though I cannot disclose all the names due to confidentiality agreements, big names in the Software delivery (like Systweak, PCVark) and Media and Broadcast industry (online newspapers like The New Indian Express or OTT pioneers in India like Cinesoft, Microscan, MultiTV) work with us.

While the internet is accessible everywhere, so far, the main market is in Metros and Tier-2 Cities where the start-ups and big brands have been very active. Our customers are typically the companies who have complex digital assets, growing audiences, and increasing delivery costs. Once they realize that their digital brand matters and can be a direct or indirect source of revenue, they know they need a partner like Limelight to do the heavy lifting for them.

CXOToday: Which industries are more keen on CDN adoption in India? 

Ersin Galioglu: In India, our main focus is on the Media & Broadcast industry as well as the Software & Device Manufacturers. But due to our strengths in delivering any type of digital content quickly, reliably and securely, we are also in talks with different banks and ecommerce platforms to help them deliver a better digital experience. However, one industry which needs a special mention is the OTT (or “Over-the-Top”) business which is a sub-segment of the Media & broadcast industry. They have been adopting our services a lot lately. It is understandable due to the nature of their business which depends on huge libraries of content in high quality which keeps getting higher (HD is a word from the past, look out for 4K and 8K content in the future). It is an industry where rebuffering can make the end users switch to other platforms. Where offloading the origin server and catering to an ever-increasing audience on different devices is a daily challenge. Where fighting to make sure their content is not stolen, keeps most of the business owners awake at night. Limelight, by our solution offerings, is a natural partner to these companies. We let OTT players to focus on what they do best: Creating original content. While we focus on what we do best, delivering content seamlessly to the end user.

CXOToday: Will CDN help in government’s smart city initiative?

Ersin Galioglu: Definitely! In a smart city, Internet of things (IoT) technology and information and communication technology (ICT) will have a major part to play. Furthermore, the Government’s digital assets are always at threat from attackers. Thus, CDNs should be used to enhance the quality and boost the security of the communication. As the data is delivered over the internet, CDN can always help in all possible ways leading to faster and secure delivery. At limelight, we are already having discussions with a big group in the IoT and smart city space to see how we can solve their delivery issues.

CXOToday: What is your go to market strategy and plan for the next 2 years? 

Ersin Galioglu: Though Limelight has been founded in 2001 and has been a publicly traded company since 2007, it is a relatively new player in India compared to some of our brothers from the CDN industry. In the past, we have focused on running the India Business as a small start-up, focusing on building a brand, increasing capacity and growing the local team. So far, we have added 3 Points of Presence (POP) in Chennai, Mumbai and Delhi and increased our capacity 2X since last year.

In 2017, we are working on increasing our capacity even more to 5X and adding more POPs to cater to the new Digital savvy generation. We are planning to gain more market share in India in our traditional strongholds like OTT, Media and Software where we can confidently promise at least a 10% increase in performance over the competition. We are also planning to expand in E-commerce, IoT, Banking and public sectors where people can benefit a lot from our content delivery expertise and high quality of delivery. Overall, the focus will continue being the same as in the past: Increase our infrastructure, build a team of genuine CDN enthusiasts, focus on innovation and customer satisfaction, staying competitive in pricing and features.