IT Brief Australia logo
Technology news for Australia's largest enterprises
Story image

Interview: CenturyLink expands CDN power across APAC

By Sara Barker
Thu 19 Mar 2020
FYI, this story is more than a year old

Content delivery networks (CDNs) are a fundamental part of web traffic across the globe. With the rise of online streaming, rich web content and the digitalisation of business, their evolution will be crucial to keeping the service experience to a high standard.

CenturyLink’s enterprise network spans 720,000 kilometres of fibre – that’s approximately 18 times the world’s circumference. It’s a vast company with more than 45,000 employees around the globe and underpins much of the internet’s backbone. 

We talked with CenturyLink’s Asia Pacific vice president of product management, Francis Thangasamy. He leads product management covering CenturyLink's suite of solutions including network, hybrid cloud & IT, security, unified communications, and IT & managed services. 

CenturyLink says it is committed to delivering strong customer experience, citing its Adaptive Network solutions as a strategic enabler to scalable, fast and reliable content delivery across the globe.

CenturyLink’s CDN forms just one part of the company’s core offerings, alongside networking, IT and cloud, and security. Its CDN works alongside with nine major media companies, as well as gaming, media and entertainment companies too.

“CDN goes beyond what people used to do in the past like renting videos, or gaming. Today it’s about how to distribute video faster and how to get live broadcast events closer to customers in a cost-effective manner,” says Thangasamy. 

The company’s CDN services worldwide can provide peak capacity exceeding 120Tbps, delivered through 120 points of presence.

CDNs are a worthy investment, as IDC statistics show that CDN traffic will grow 35% in the next five years.

“As a region with 55% of the world’s population living in Asia, the internet revolution is growing tremendously. There are still countries that don’t have good broadband, so this is just the beginning,” Thangasamy says.

The commercial CDN market is evolving with the advent of a new breed of competitors that capitalise on emerging technologies such as virtualisation, DevOps, and peer to peer (P2P) along with simplified pricing models to compete against established legacy players. Virtualisation is also ushering in a new breed of software-dominant players, Thangasamy notes.

“Our high-performing global CDN leverages consumer device telemetry, data science and disruptive edge delivery methodologies to help improve user experience during peak traffic hours and minimise the risk of inadequate or inaccurate planning for large events,” says Thangasamy.

CenturyLink commits to Asia Pacific with additional CDN investment

To grow alongside the booming Asia Pacific (APAC) market, CenturyLink has doubled its CDN capacity in the region and repositioned some of its CDN model to include edge capabilities.

The company now has nodes in 11 cities across Australia, Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea, Singapore, Indonesia and the Philippines.

“We have been focused on clearly defining the markets we want to serve in APAC. This means that we have repositioned our assets in the region to serve those markets, defining the investments we will make to better serve customers and grow the region,” says Thangasamy.

“We are focused on the customer and how we will achieve transformational customer experience is by focusing on digital experience, AI and big data, and by leveraging automation and virtualisation to deliver services."

In November 2019 CenturyLink launched its CDN Edge Compute. It is a solution designed engineers to access and control of workloads at the edge, which helps power a better internet by reducing latency and data backhaul, and maintaining a strong security perimeter.

Thangasamy adds that in Australia, CenturyLink is helping customers with their IT Agility and Connected Security requirements. 

“This encompasses delivering emerging applications at the edge with the network as the new data center as well as to leverage our expansive global threat visibility and to act against the threats we see, ‘See More. Stop More’ to help customers drive a proactive connected security strategy in their digital business journey.”

 The evolution of CDNs to mesh networks and beyond

“The industry is evolving from a traditional content provider to a market disruptor. We’re looking at a distributed network to find out how to use P2P to create a mesh network for example, and how organisations can use this with fewer bandwidth requirements,” says Thangasamy.

Last year CenturyLink acquired Streamroot, a company that enables connected consumer devices such as smartphones, tablets, computers, set-top consoles and smart TVs to participate in the serving of premium content through a secure and private mesh delivery.

“We’re forming a mesh network using IoT devices and users to elevate the distribution of our content,” says Thangasamy.

Streamroot DNA applies sequential algorithms utilising geographic location, ISP, device capabilities, network topology, and content type & format to promote efficient multi-sourced delivery.

That approach can lead to a reduction of the total CDN bandwidth required to deliver content and ensures a cost-effective solution for customers without compromising on quality, says Thangasamy.

Streamroot DNA has enabled customers like Dailymotion with delivering over 100 million video views per day, ensuring robust video delivery while keeping costs down.

Sourcing from a local mesh network promotes higher bitrates and less rebuffering at any given time. In this way, mesh is complementary to CDN delivery and a powerful tool for broadcasters who are looking for flexible and instant scale, Thangasamy says.

Ensuring service continuity in the age of buffering and dropouts

Some streaming providers have been plagued with customer complaints about buffering and dropout issues, although from their end their CDN servers were working properly.

We asked Thangasamy what CenturyLink and providers such as broadcasters must do to ensure a better delivery experience.

“The reality is that end-users require almost instantaneous content but there’s a lot that needs to happen, and a lot that CDN service providers need to look at.

“On the technology front, enterprises are expecting an innovation agenda that incorporates virtualisation, DevOps, open APIs and programmability at the edge,” says Thangasamy.

“Edge compute capabilities like mesh go beyond what physical servers provide, bringing data closer to the people,” he notes.

On the commercial side, enterprises are demanding a commercial framework that is transparent, easy to understand, and embodies co-innovation to enable a richer customer experience.

For large media companies, a multi-CDN architecture/strategy is highly desired not only from price competitiveness but more from availability and performance perspectives.

Security is critical to all segments, with importance to web delivery and increasing importance to media content delivery.

Thangasamy also highlight’s CenturyLink’s Channel Partner Program members, including its master agents, who play a critical role in enabling successful digital transformations for mutual customers. 

He says that CenturyLink is more than just CDN - it is an end-to-end solutions provider.

“Our channel/alliance partner program allows access to CenturyLink's full portfolio of networking and cloud solutions, including SD-WAN, security, hybrid cloud and IT services, voice and unified communications, and managed services and IT consulting services," he concludes.

Related stories
Top stories
Story image
What every CISO must answer to enable a best-in-class security operations program
It has been widely reported recently that South Australian government employees have been the victims of a cyberattack.
Story image
MedCart achieves close to AUD$10 million in sales with help from Marketplacer tech
Australian health and medical start-up MedCart has achieved annual sales of close to AUD$10 million in less than 12 months, utilising Marketplacer marketplace technology to help achieve successful results.
Story image
Identity and Access Management
The post-pandemic workforce requires secure IAM capabilities
HID Global discusses what identity and access management means for organisations in today's convoluted digital world.
Story image
Microsoft previews Power Platform website design offering
Microsoft has announced the preview of Power Pages, the fifth product in its Power Platform family, designed for low-code makers and professional developers.
Story image
Digital Marketing
Similarweb acquires SEO and rank tracking company Rank Ranger
Digital intelligence company Similarweb, which specialises in analysing web traffic, has acquired Rank Ranger, a market leader in SEO and rank tracking.
Story image
i-PRO releases smallest AI-based surveillance camera on the market
The new i-PRO mini network camera is now available, with a pocket-sized form factor and full AI analytics functionality.
Story image
Digital Marketing
Getty Images delves into the world of NFTs with Candy Digital
Getty Images and Candy Digital, the next-generation digital collectible company, have announced a new multi-year partnership agreement.
Story image
Vectra AI
Vectra’s inaugural Partner of the Year Awards revealed
APAC companies Baidam, Firmus, ShellSoft and Macnica have been recognised in Vectra AI's inaugural Partner of the Year Awards.
Story image
SoftIron named global leader for efficient DC infrastructure solutions
SoftIron has been named a global leader for supplying energy-efficient data infrastructure solutions for core-to-edge data centers after an assessment by Earth Capital Ltd.
Story image
Manhattan Associates
Shortening the click-to-customer cycle through smart technologies
Speed of delivery without accuracy is a dealbreaker for consumers. How can retailers operating in an omnichannel environment overcome the challenge of click-to-customer cycle times.
Story image
NetApp launches Spot PC, a new Desktop-as-a-Service solution
This is a new managed cloud DaaS solution with security, automation, observability and optimisation capabilities, designed for the needs of today.
Story image
The paradox of change, and how to get around it
The business decision to technologically transform should not come from an IT department but from the business itself.
Story image
Silver Peak
The path to an adaptive, modern network
Managing and securing the network looks different than it did just two years ago—especially given that most of these networks are made up of multi-generations of infrastructure stitched together over time.
Story image
Accenture - a collective security approach a driving factor for cyber resilience
With the approaching Davos World Economic Forum upon us, it is even more imperative to discuss the impact of cybersecurity on business operations leading into the future.
Story image
Hybrid Cloud
Barracuda expands cloud-native SASE platform
"The expansion of Barracuda's cloud-native SASE platform for hybrid deployment models and IIoT environments solves a number of challenges."
Story image
Women in Technology
Huawei webinar emphasises the importance of women in tech
Industry findings by Coursera discussed as part of a webinar jointly organised by Huawei and Reuters Events found 6% more women enrolled in tech courses this year than in 2021.
Story image
Managed service provider
Barracuda MSP Day 2022 highlights MSP opportunities
Barracuda Networks has released a report showing global services-related MSP revenue is set to increase by more than a third in 2022 compared to 2021.
Story image
Multi Cloud
Red Hat updates dev tools, empowers use of hybrid and multicloud
Red Hat has unveiled updates across its portfolio of developer tools, designed to help organisations build and deliver applications faster.
Story image
Skills shortages hold orgs back from capitalising on cloud 2.0
Organisations are becoming more comfortable with sophisticated 'cloud 2.0' technologies, even as they confront difficulties in hiring and retaining IT talent.
Story image
Digital Transformation
Digital transformation increasing business complexities
A new survey suggests businesses must re-examine their digital transformation approach to better help employees adapt to change.
Story image
Infosec unveils role-guided cybersecurity training roadmaps
Infosec Skills Roles maps hands-on training and certifications to the 12 most in-demand cybersecurity roles to maximise training efficiency.
Story image
APAC organisations fail to disclose ransomware breaches
85% of organisations in APAC were breached by ransomware at least once in the past five years, but only 28% publicly disclosed the incident.
Story image
Digital Signage
MAXHUB's Digital Signage range to bolster boardroom productivity
The new MAXHUB Digital Signage technology is purpose-built to make every kind of team meeting more effective.
Story image
Ponemon Institute
Email revealed to be riskiest channel for data loss
More than half (60%) of organisations experienced data loss or exfiltration caused by an employee mistake on email in the last 12 months.
Story image
Sift shares crucial advice for preventing serious ATO breaches
Are you or your business struggling with Account Takeover Fraud (ATO)? One of the latest ebooks from Sift can provide readers with the tools and expertise to help launch them into the new era of account security.
Story image
The most common online scams in Australia
No one is safe from online scammers, and many of these scammers have capitalised on the pandemic, using this confusing time to attack more people than ever.
Story image
Customer experience
Phone, internet complaints increase for first time in five quarters
Phone and internet complaints have increased for the first time in five quarters, according to a new telco report from the Ombudsman.
Story image
Artificial Intelligence
Gartner reveals top three tech trends for banks this year
Gartner says generative artificial intelligence, autonomic systems and privacy-enhancing computation are gaining traction in banking and investment services.
Story image
Trojan cyber attacks hitting SMBs harder than ever - Kaspersky
In 2022 the number of Trojan-PSW detections increased by almost a quarter compared to the same period in 2021 to reach 4,003,323.
Story image
Check Point
Check Point and CCTV expert join forces to boost protection
The partnership will involve Check Point Quantum IoT Protect Nano Agent being embedded in Provision-ISR’s CCTV cameras for on-device runtime protection.
Story image
Data Protection
Information management capabilities to meet privacy requirements
Organisations with customers or operations across more than one country face a spate of new and proposed privacy and data protection laws.
Story image
Red Sift
Entrust expands strategic partnership with Red Sift
Entrust has expanded its strategic partnership with Red Sift to make it easier for businesses to adopt Brand Indicators for Message Identification (BIMI) standards for email identification and security.
Story image
Aligned Data Centers increases sustainability-linked loan
Aligned Data Centers has increased its sustainability-linked loan from $375 million to $1.75 billion to speed up the next phase of its strategic growth.
Story image
Data Center
Preventing downtime costs and damage with Distributed Infrastructure Management
Distributed Infrastructure Management (DIM) can often be a lifeline for many enterprises that work with highly critical ICT infrastructure and power sources.
Story image
GapMaps Live to improve brand decisions on physical locations
GapMaps has released its latest service GapMaps Live, giving more insights and features to help brands make better decisions about physical locations.
Story image
MailGuard warns of new scam targeting Telstra customers
Telstra customers in Australia are being warned of a new scam involving "Unsuccessful Payment" messages.
Story image
Cyber attacks
Devastating cyber attacks expected to hit energy sector
Energy executives anticipate life, property, and environment-compromising cyber attacks on the sector within the next two years.
Story image
MEC spending for private cellular networks to reach $5.8b
A new ABI Research report finds the revenue for Multi Access Edge Compute (MEC) deployments for private cellular networks will reach USD$5.8 billion by 2030.
Story image
Microsoft, Cloudian partnership offers data center flexibility
Cloudian’s HyperStore object storage platform is now integrated and validated to work with Microsoft SQ Server 2022, offering more flexible and scalable data centers.
Story image
SPS network now available to CrescoData eCommerce customers
CrescoData, a Pitney Bowes Company and PaaS business in the commerce space, says its customers can now connect to the SPS Commerce Retail Network.
Story image
Elevation of Privilege the top 2021 Microsoft vulnerability
BeyondTrust has released its 2022 Microsoft Vulnerabilities Report, finding that Elevation of Privilege is the top vulnerability category for the second consecutive year.
Find out how a behavioural analytics-driven approach can transform security operations with the new Exabeam commissioned Forrester study.
Link image
Story image
Cybersecurity prompts upgrade for 1.3 billion electricity meters
ABI Research finds Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) and cybersecurity concerns are prompting the upgrade of 1.3 billion electricity meters by 2027.
Story image
Sysdig unveils new Kubernetes troubleshooting and cloud innovations
Sysdig has introduced two new innovations that look to help bolster cloud services and simplify Kubernetes troubleshooting.