Choosing Between Multiple Content DeliveryNetworks and Load Balancing: Cotendoʼs CDNBalancerOne of the new companies jump...
 The defined geographies are:• Regions – North America, South US, West US, NorthEast US, Midwest US, South America,       ...
 Having created the variables we can now set an allocation rule so that the weight for Whole SiteCDN delivery is based on ...
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Choosing Between Multiple Content Delivery Networks and Load Balancing: Cotendoʼs CDN Balancer

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One of the new companies jumping into the Content Delivery Networking (CDN) arena is Cotendo. They are a fairly new CDN Service Provider and are solely focused on the CDN market. Cotendo's strategy is unique: break into the business by capturing some of Akamaiʼs market share in the Dynamic Content area (Dynamic Site Acceleration). Not a bad strategy. If nothing else, you have to give them some kudos for their uniqueness.

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Choosing Between Multiple Content Delivery Networks and Load Balancing: Cotendoʼs CDN Balancer

  1. 1.  Choosing Between Multiple Content DeliveryNetworks and Load Balancing: Cotendoʼs CDNBalancerOne of the new companies jumping into the Content Delivery Networking (CDN) arena isCotendo. They are a fairly new CDN Service Provider and are solely focused on the CDN market.Cotendos strategy is unique: break into the business by capturing some of Akamaiʼs marketshare in the Dynamic Content area (Dynamic Site Acceleration). Not a bad strategy. If nothingelse, you have to give them some kudos for their uniqueness.Theyʼve also added a wrinkle to that overall strategy by releasing a CDN Load Balancing product.Its very adjustable. The real time conditions for adjustment rules are:• Weighted allocation• Geographic location (region, country, state)• Geographic distance (proximity to defined geographic target)• Time of day• DNS based rules / policies via XML configuration• Any combination of the aboveLetʼs examine some use cases:Weighted Allocation – a customer can configure X percentage of their traffic to be delivered byCDN 1, Y percentage of their traffic to be delivered by CDN 2, Z percentage of their traffic to bedelivered by CDN 3, and so on. This feature allows a customer to better manage their contractswith CDN providers and to take advantage of the ability to adjust commitments.Geography – a customer can configure traffic delivery to North American users using CDN 1, toEuropean users using CDN 2, to Asia/Pacific Rim users using CDN 3, and so on. Many CDNshave a geographic expertise - for example, CDNetworks, which sells into the North Americamarket, enjoys the #1 market share position in Korea. If a customer wants to take advantage ofthat #1 position, they could purchase a contract with CDNetworks combined with Cotendo,delivering all of their content to Korea using CDNetworks and all of their traffic around the worldusing other CDN providers. This might be even more important with continents such as SouthAmerica, where CDN penetration is very low. In this case, a geographic CDN Load Balancingcapability gives customers the ability to, for example, use Akamai for South America (becausethey have more POPʼs in South America than any other provider), and then use a cheaper CDNin North America.
  2. 2.  The defined geographies are:• Regions – North America, South US, West US, NorthEast US, Midwest US, South America, Europe, Northern Europe, Central Europe, Western Europe, APAC, Other;• Countries – Over 40 countries with the highest Internet use; and• States – All 50 statesA real world example of geographic CDN load balancing via Cotendoʼs CDN Balancer (CDB) isShopzilla. Shopzilla funnels traffic out of Florida through Cotendo and traffic from another regionsthrough its other delivery network. You can read more about this at Shopzilla buys itself a holidaygift: a second content delivery network.Geographic Distance – Balancing based on distance is an incredibly powerful capability. Forexample, a customer can configure to deliver traffic within 100 miles of the origin server via theorigin server, and then all other traffic from their CDN If a customer is globally load balanced andhas multiple origin servers they can deliver traffic within 100 miles of the first set of servers fromthose servers, within 100 miles of the second set of servers from those servers, and then fromanywhere else using a CDN. Using the IP Address of the End User and an IP Address togeographic location mapping database, the CDN Load Balancer knows where every End User inthe world is located.Time of Day – a customer can configure to deliver their traffic during peak volume periods(between 8 am and 11 pm) via a very well known and top tier CDN, but, when internet trafficpatterns show that demand is very low (for example between 2 am and 5 am), deliver traffic via amuch cheaper CDN, or even back from their origin server. These time of day rules offers greatflexibility for a customer.DNS Based Rules / Policies Via XML Configuration – Variables can be created and added to therules, providing what may be the most powerful feature of the Cotendo CDN Balancer (CDB).Perhaps the best way to describe this concept and the power of its capabilities is through a usecase.Assume as users weve set up a Site Failover capability so that if our origin server goes down oursite fails over to Whole Site CDN delivery. To configure this weʼll need to set up a WeightedAllocation rule and define two variables: variable1 represents the proportion of Whole Site CDNdelivery and variable2 the proportion of Origin Server delivery. Using Cotendoʼs Site Assureproduct offering well monitor the state of the origin server web site (and thus set the value ofeach variable) via a probe thats based on a performance measurement product such as Gomezor Keynote. Well define variable1 (the Whole Site CDN delivery variable) so that if Gomez orKeynote detects the origin server site is down, variable1 is set to a value of 100; if the site is up,variable1s value is 0. In order to set the use case rule properly, weʼll define variable2 (the originserver delivery variable) to be the opposite of the variable1: when the web site is down,variable2s value is set to 0 and when the site is up the value is 100.
  3. 3.  Having created the variables we can now set an allocation rule so that the weight for Whole SiteCDN delivery is based on variable1 and the weight for origin server delivery is based onvariable2. If the origin server site is down, the Whole Site CDN Delivery weighted allocation willbe defined from variable1 as 100%, the Origin Server weighted allocation will be defined fromvariable2 as 0%, and all traffic will be delivered by the Whole Site CDN Delivery. When the OriginServer site is up, the Whole Site CDN Delivery weighted allocation will be defined from variable1as 0%, the Origin Server weighted allocation will be defined from variable2 as 100%, and alltraffic will be delivered by Origin.Newly created rules/policies as well as changes propagate through the system in 2 minutes orless. Its incredible that the Cotendo Load Balancer allows a web site administrator to takeimmediate automated actions at the CDN level based on real-time web site conditions. The usecase is just one example, and the possibilities are endless. The flexibility of the rules/policiesfunctionality and what it can now do for web sites at the CDN level is just amazing.Rules can be in any combination - All of the above rule capabilities can be combined to meetvirtually any unique set of requirements. For example, users can combine:• A Weighted Allocation and Geographic Location rule;• A Geographic Location and Time of Day rule; and• A Weighted Allocation, Geographic Location; and Time of Day rule.The combinations are endless.Finally, There are some nice things about the way the Cotendo solution functions:1. the changes take effect immediately;2. itʼs transparent to the end user; and3. thereʼs no minimum CDN traffic that needs to go thru Cotendo.Cotendos CEO, Ronni Zehavi, says “Cotendoʼs CDN Balancer (CDB) gives a content providerthe ability to allocate web traffic or audiences based on monetization strategy or business and ITpolicies. Rules can be set on the CDB to implement content delivery policies which optimizesobjectives such as user experience, system performance and/or cost of delivery.”In the end, the Cotendo CDN Balancer (CDB) is finally giving users choice and flexibility when itcomes to matching their web site delivery business needs and requirements with the availablechoices in the CDN marketplace. This is amazingly powerful.We see this as a very positive start for Cotendo, offering product differentiation and also allowingCotendo to wedge their way into many new accounts through the introduction of their CDN LoadBalancer.Copyright 2009 CDNExpert Online. All Rights Reserved. All trademarks and copyrights on thispage are owned by their respective owners.Source URL: http://cdnexpertonline.com/node/49

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