Juniper, Akamai Demonstrate Elastic CDN Over Virtualization Platforms

Leverages software-defined networks to scale video distribution
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DUSSELDORF, GERMANY—Akamai Technologies and Juniper Networks are demonstrating an elastic content delivery network system designed to enable network scalability at the SDN & OpenFlow World Congress running through Friday. The proof-of-concept demonstration is leveraging Akamai’s virtualized Aura Licensed CDN software and the Juniper Networks Contrail Controller for software-defined networking and network function virtualization to dynamically scale up and down network resources to support content spikes resulting from the broadcast of large events. The technology is also designed to accelerate service creation for service providers utilizing CDNs to launch innovative multiscreen video services.

Streaming large live events and popular on-demand titles can cause significant network congestion that leads to a poor subscriber experience, brand erosion and customer turnover. To meet customer demand for multiscreen video services, network operators are increasingly migrating their delivery architecture to CDN-assisted IP video to scale delivery and stay current with the latest technologies. Additionally, many operators are now looking at virtualization of the CDN network function as a key component in scaling delivery.

To address the scalability challenge, Akamai is collaborating with Juniper to demonstrate an on-networ, elastic CDN. Unlike previous approaches, which required dedicated hardware, long lead times and extensive planning to add capacity, the elastic CDN solution running on virtualization platforms leverages Juniper Networks Contrail to quickly configure virtual network resources within a virtual CDN, and allows additional caching capacity to be deployed in minutes instead of weeks. The elastic CDN is highly distributed and virtually networked to enable efficient use of resources. Operating in an OpenStack environment, the combined solution is designed to help reduce time and cost associated with adding new caching capacity to the network, decreasing both capital and operational expense.

The technology demonstration features key attributes designed to address the limitations of statically provisioned video architectures, specifically:

  • Scalable caching within the operator network—Building on virtualization technology, caches are decoupled from dedicated hardware and can be deployed in minutes to meet variable traffic demands.
  • Distributed resource pool—Caching capacity can be added to existing data center resources throughout the network, or more cost-effectively deployed into new micro data centers closer to the subscriber edge.
  • Automated networking—Network virtualization technology designed to ensure connectivity between disparate caching resources. Through intelligent analytics and network performance monitoring, Quality of Service levels are closely tracked to enable a network operator to monitor and improve the end-user experience.