Lior Netzer, VP of mobile networks at Content Delivery Network (CDN) operator Akamai, discusses tie-ups with mobile operators, and the different expectations of application owners.
How can CDNs be used to make mobile networks applications aware?
CDNs generally use different maps for different types of content and applications. Maps determine which domains or types of traffic can be served by which servers and when. But that is also how priorities and service level agreements (SLAs) are determined.
When we integrate our products with mobile operators, like our Mobile Network Accelerator, we can combine our ability to identify content or traffic types with their ability to prioritise applications.
In what ways do the QoS needs of mobile sites and applications vary?
They vary quite a bit actually. E-commerce tends to be about presenting material quickly, rendering it effectively across various devices, and then providing a quick, seamless transaction.
Financial services are less concerned with the display of rich content, and more concerned with reducing transaction times as much as possible.
Most other sites just want to optimise the site for delivery, and information services tend to be able to deliver information to apps in the background, so latency may be a little less important.
Video requires a more consistent throughput, but adaptive bitrate (ABR) will handle some variability. Overall a little packet loss is less of a concern. So it really cuts across the board, which is why a CDN inside the mobile network makes sense.
How can networks be optimised and content adapted to deliver an optimal user experience?
We offer Front End Optimisation, image compression, and mobile detection and redirection to optimise the content. TCP optimisation can help optimise the network, and policy-based management can help manage congestion and prioritise applications to meet the various needs.
What are application owners looking for from a CDN to meet their business priorities?
Each application owner has different needs. The expectations of the CDN is to meet their performance requirements, and to provide a consistent experience.
In addition, CDNs are used to simplify the workflow, so an application owner does not need to provide multiple versions of everything across devices. Increasingly, these companies are turning to CDNs to protect the site and ensure availability. CDNs should protect their origin and their data.