What is content delivery and why is it important for your business

5 min read

Introduction

The market of Internet media is developing very actively, competitive relations are intensifying. One of the most important indicators of Internet media portals is the audience reach - the number of unique visitors to the portal. On its basis, ratings of Internet portals are built, affecting their image component and attractiveness for advertisers, and, consequently, on the company's profit from Internet advertising placed on the resource.

Most of the Internet resources are faced with the strategic goals of increasing profits, retaining existing and conquering new market positions. They are implemented using various methods: marketing, PR, social media and mobile apps the implementation of which requires upgrading the portal, applying new or improving existing technologies.

Why is content delivery essential?

When we talk about content delivery in the context of media resources available via the Internet, we usually mean media transfer technologies (digital content) between the data source (storage) and the data consumer (for example, PC end-user Internet with a WWW browser or STB device) .

If we consider the role of content in the process of monetizing the audience, then it is one of the input elements of the process. The practical role of content is to attract and retain audience on the portal.

Methods of content delivery

There are several types of technological solutions for content delivery, which can significantly reduce the consequences of the existing problems of content distribution. The choice of a specific solution for a specific Internet portal depends on the strategic goals of the project, its financial and resource capabilities, the internal and external environment of the organization that owns the portal. In any case, there are no universal solutions; sometimes a combination of several technological solutions can be the most effective.

There are several types of technological solutions for content delivery:

  • from one central site. Content delivery occurs from the central portal, containing all the necessary software and hardware components for servicing user requests. The method is characterized by a relatively low level of reliability due to the concentration of all equipment and content at one point, the availability of content entirely depends on the quality of user access to the content through the WAN channels of telecom operators.
  • delivery to the regions via VPN connections. Content is delivered from the central site of the portal (or from several sites) via the Internet through the organization of VPN tunnels to points of presence of broadband operators in the regions in order to ensure the quality of content delivery to their regional networks. It is characterized by high rates for VPN services, high cost of network equipment necessary for connecting to the VPN service, and standardization of applied technologies.
  • from several central sites via WAN. Content delivery is provided from several central portal sites, geographically distributed to ensure fault tolerance of the solution, through connections to backbone and broadband access networks. The method is characterized by the ability to provide a large audience coverage in broadband access networks, a relatively high cost of traffic, easy scaling, standardized methods of content delivery and a high level of reliability of content delivery.
  • via CDN. The method is characterized by the fact that the CDN service operator assumes all operations for content delivery to its consumers, and the portal is engaged in content aggregation and providing access to it from the CDN. It is characterized by high OPEX and small CAPEX.
  • From the own regional nodes. The method is based on the delivery of content from its own regional hubs located on the networks of regional telecom operators, including broadband access. The method is characterized by the need for capital investments in the construction of regional hubs, an increase in operating expenses to maintain the entire distributed regional infrastructure. It is also a difficult task to ensure the optimal number of joints with regional broadband operators to enable an acceptable quality of access to content for regional audiences.
  • from the central nodes and via СDN. When using this method of distribution, the content is delivered both from the central nodes connected to the WAN communication operators, and through the CDN. The decision on the most efficient delivery method to the user is made on the basis of several metrics that determine the most effective route from the PoP CDN or portal site node to the user in terms of delivery costs and quality of service indicators.

Criteria for choosing a content delivery technology

To assess the effectiveness of a technological solution within a specific Internet project, it is necessary to formulate several criteria for its effectiveness. Applying the principle of quantitative efficiency of technologies based on these criteria, you can evaluate the content delivery technologies and choose the most effective one for an Internet project.

Criteria for the effectiveness of technological solutions:

  • cost price;
  • quality;
  • reliability;
  • standardization;
  • simplicity;
  • popularity;
  • performance.

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