Peran Internet Exchange dalam Kolaborasi Content Delivery Network & Internet Service Providers
The COVID-19 pandemic has increased the demand for digital entertainment and thus stimulated the growing popularity of OTT platforms. According to a report by Research Dive, by 2026, the global OTT market is expected to generate a revenue of $438,5 Billion, exponentially growing at a CAGR of 19,1%.
In Indonesia, OTT platforms are also gaining more popularity. As of January 2021, according to a survey conducted by Media Partners Asia (MPA), Netflix had around 850 million subscribers in the country. Meanwhile, Disney+ Hotstar now has over 2,5 million subscribers despite being available in Indonesia for less than a year.
More subscribers means higher network requirements. Every OTT user expects excellent customer experience in the form of smooth, uninterrupted, high-res content delivery. To provide high-quality experience to their users, OTT platforms require robust and stable networks with minimum latency which can be provided by Content Delivery Networks, or CDNs.
The Collaboration Between CDNs and ISPs
With the significant growth of demand for OTT content, CDNs need to up their game to stay competitive in the content delivery market. Today, it’s common for CDNs to form strategic alliances with other networks, especially ISPs, to provide content delivery network solutions.
In their relationship, CDNs and ISPs are facing their own challenges. To serve their purpose, CDNs deploy geographically distributed infrastructures. Because of these deployments, CDNs have to dynamically map end-users and connect them to the appropriate servers. The challenge occurs because CDNs have to do this without being fully aware of the network conditions within an ISP or the end-user location. Meanwhile, ISPs face a struggle to cope with rapid traffic shifts caused by the dynamic server selection policies of the CDNs. Nonetheless, the challenges that CDNs and ISPs face separately can be turned into an opportunity for collaboration.
The Way IXs Help CDNs and ISPs Enhance Their Collaboration
How can CDNs and ISPs strengthen their collaboration? To answer the question, we have to first talk about “peering”.
Peering is when two networks agree to directly connect with each other over physical infrastructure and exchange traffic for mutual benefits. Due to this direct interconnection, the participating networks don’t have to rely on a third party to carry the traffic across the internet for them. Why peering? Due to its nature, peering allows its participants to create a direct path between them, thereby shortening the distance data has to travel, reducing latency, and improving round-trip time.
Today, peering has become a preferable method for networks to interconnect. CDNs and ISPs can better collaborate and improve their performances using this particular method. Through peering with ISPs, CDNs can significantly improve their service to their clients, providing them with faster, more secure transit and an improved, optimized network. It allows them to be more competitive in the content delivery market. Meanwhile, for ISPs, the collaboration is a step toward better management of the traffic that flows within their networks.
So, what is the role of IXs in this collaboration? An IX is a place where network providers and other internet companies (CDNs, ISPs, web enterprises, communication service providers, cloud providers, etc.) peer with each other. Any network that wants to peer with other networks can join an IX. Therefore, IXs play a role as a facilitator for CDNs-ISPs peering.
In conclusion, IXs play a key part in the collaboration between CDNs and ISPs. Therefore, it’s a good idea for CDNs and ISPs to consider joining an IX and establish peering with each other to improve their performance and provide better customer experience.