Content Delivery Summit Recap

The Content Delivery Summit from May 17th and the Streaming Media East from May 18-19, held in Boston, MA, USA is behind us and we can say it was again a successful day!

The Chairman of CDN Alliance, Mark de Jong, was hosting the full day of the Content Delivery Summit, responsible for the full packed day program with a plethora of speakers and panels including a few contributions of the CDN Alliance itself. All presentations will become available on the StreamingMedia website about 2 weeks after the event. We stayed another 2 days at the Streaming Media East conference as well using that time to network and attend a number of sessions of the conference related to topics that were of interest to the CDN Alliance.

We started with an hour of breakfast, which gave the audience a nice time to register and immediately connect with known and unknown contacts. At 9am we started the official program with a interesting presentation by Omdia with their expectations on revenues on content delivery services and content delivery technology for the years to come and insights on how to further drive revenues in the future in relation to for instance ad-technologies.

After Omdia, Peter Chave from Akamai as well as our chairman Mark de Jong give an update on the perspectives of the Future of TV. Mark de Jong kicked of with a presentation in relation to the ‘Fair Share Debate’ and how this can negatively impact the future of online TV as we know it and we should al be aware on what is happening within the EU. Peter Chave followed with a look back on his last years’ predictions and some interesting trends he is expecting to see moving forward.

We then jumped into the first panel of the day titled ‘The Next Challenge In Content Delivery: Rural Areas & Upcoming Regions’. A great passionate discussion with Jeff Gilbert from Harmonic, Joshua Johnson from EdgeNext and Martin Vann from Caton Technology talking about the importance and trends on rural areas and upcoming regions of content delivery and what will be important to understand moving forward with those regions.

After the first coffee break, our chairman Mark de Jong kicked it off with an ‘Industry Awareness’ of 5 minutes titled ‘Are CDNs Truly Global Or Not?’ talking about that our CDN Industry is getting more fragmented worldwide and what forces are responsible for this trend. We learned throughout the day and during the 2 days at Streaming Media East, that these ‘Industry Insights’ were perceived very well. So this might be something we will look into more.

After the Industry Insight it was Amit Cohen from CompiraLabs to talk about ‘Performance On Mobile: Revealing Hidden Treasures’ on the specific differences of QoE impacts on mobile (networks) and how congestion control as part of this ha such a big impact on this and what methods are to improve that. An approach that was unknown to many to combat QoE issues on mobile (networks).

Our second panel session titled ‘Low-Latency Streaming And The Edge – What Do They Have In Common?’ gave interesting insights on how the trends of Edge and Low-Latency are coming together now. Especially knowing that Low-Latency needs added value beyond the Low-Latency itself to be of value to users and the business. The lively discussion with Chris Allen, from Red5 Pro, John Barber from AWS Sports, Daniel Perea Strom from System73 and Juraj Kacaba from CDN77 certainly gave a lot of insights to the attendees!

The last session before lunch was done by Juraj Kacaba from CDN77 as a sponsored session titled ‘Challenges Of HTTP-Based Low-Latency Live-Streaming At Scale’, talking about the impact and things to think about when doing Low-Latency at scale. Certainly interested for the ones using CDNs doing Low-Latency live streaming to get a bit more insight on how CDNs cope with this and what you can do to improve it.

After the lunch with gave ample time to network with peers and discuss what was already passed through the morning, it was time for another ‘Industry Insight’ by our chairman Mark de Jong titled ‘Can We Still Call CDN A Content Delivery Network?’ challenging the floor to think about what is happening in the CDN Industry with the terms ‘CDN’ and ‘Content Delivery’. To urge the CDN Industry to wake up and to think how to make CDN and Content Delivery relevant again.

The third panel of the day was titled ‘Is Sustainability In Content Delivery Sustainable?’ which was a very interesting discussion with the panellists Mike Mattera from Akamai, Jan Outters from Ateme and Dom Robinson from the Greening of Streaming. The discussion primarily evolved around how awareness on this topic with examples on what steps are already being made but also a warning that we still have a lot of work to do.

Next up was Sergio Carulli from MainStreaming on his session titled ‘Data Overload: How To Manage Your Data So It Remains Relevant’. A great presentation giving insights, methods and insights on all the data flows within CDNs and how to manage the complexity and amount of data associated with it. Not just theoretically, but on how MainStreaming is doing this on a day-by-day basis.

The next panel session titled ‘Multicast Is Dead, Long Live Multicast!’ was a very interesting though technical session on the history and pros and cons of multicast in today’s world. In a lively discussion by Keith Chow from Nokia, Dom Robinson from Greening of Streaming and Joshua Weiss from ARK Multicasting we came to the conclusion that multicast is certainly not dead and can possibly help in today’s peak capacities and costs for delivery. Yet there are challenges that need to be overcome, which – unless we as a CDN Industry don’t work on together might not come to fruition.

The next speaker, Gautier Demond from Qwilt took the stage to talk about ‘The State Of Open Caching’. An interesting look on Open Caching and how Qwilt is seeing the adoption and potential of Open Caching coming to fruition and how net business models are being implemented using Open Caching. Not just with Qwilt but also with other CDN Vendors that have Open Caching implemented today.

After the last break of the day our Chairman Mark de Jong had another 5 minute ‘Industry Insight’ titled ‘The CDN Industry Is Not Good At Selling Itself’ claiming that CDNs are only talked about when things go wrong and people don’t see the value of CDNs unless they are down with the urgent message that we as a CDN Industry have so much value, but are not well in showing our value and this needs to be changed.

Next up was the next panel titled ‘The Future Of Multi-CDN—Static Caches Or Smart Edges?’ with the panellists Peter Chave from Akamai, Sergio Carulli from MainStreaming, Jeff Gilbert from Harmonic and Daniel Perea Strom from System73. An interesting debate on Edges (where it also became clear we need the word ‘Edge’ defined) and that CDN and Edge are not so easy to logically separate, but it is the debate whom should have them: CDNs or Operators?

The last speaker of the day was ?? talking about something that has his heart: ‘The Science Behind Cache Hits And Misses Revealed’. Packed with the science and formulas on how to optimize cache hits and how to apply this, this was by far the most technical session that made people to take pictures of the presentation to figure out the formula’s themselves later.

Last up was a new concept called the ‘Open Panel’ inviting people from the audience to participate on the session titled ‘Standardization In Content Delivery—What’s Needed To Make It Work?’. Next to the standard panellists Peter Chave from Akamai and Sergio Carulli from MainStreaming, there unfortunately were no volunteers from the audience to come to the stage. Ultimately Chris Allen from Red5 Pro joined the stage which ended up in a short but lively discussion on standards and with the outcome that we can’t go without moving forward. 

The day ended with a VIP Mixer for all attendees and the ones that were at Streaming Media East to network and talk about all we learned and observed throughout the day. It for sure was an inspiring day and we hope to see you all the next time!