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In the Limelight Blog

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In this third and final blog in this series exploring challenges and solutions to developing and distributing software releases and device updates, we will look at the Delivery phase.

 

OK, your Beta program was a success, the team received the feedback they needed to get the new software just right and wrap up development. Now it’s time to plan broad end user distribution. Expectations for a great download experience on the part of the end users will be high.  It is common for a large percentage of users to download new software on the day it first becomes available. A poor download experience on their part can have a devastating effect on your brand. Just as with the Beta code distribution, the website users will interact with to download released software should be considered as part of the marketing toolkit. If it’s a device update you are delivering, you will want an option of toll-free delivery to users so they don’t take a hit on their data plan.  Are you confident you have a process, infrastructure, and workflow capable of delivering consistent, reliable, and secure downloads at global scale? Consider:

 

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How can you avoid frustration with your users downloads? Put your marketing in top gear, starting with the download experience. Leverage Limelight’s smart edge detection, giving you user geo-location and device type enabling delivery of the correct file to each user. Here is your chance to enhance brand integrity with the best possible download experience. Here’s what the cloud infrastructure looks like to provide these benefits:

 

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Limelight’s Software and Device Manufacturers Solution solves the Delivery phase challenges, combining the power and reach of one of the world’s largest private content delivery networks (CDN) with a purpose-built intelligent platform to deliver your digital files reliably and securely anywhere in the world. Learn more about Limelight’s Orchestrate for Software and Device Manufacturers Solution Here on the Limelight website. Read a great White Paper on user expectations for downloading software and how to meet their requirements. If you are curious about what users across generations think today about their download experiences and what devices they use, check out this new Survey. Or see what a leading security software developer does to deliver awesome download experiences to their customers in this Case Study.

If you distribute content at significant scale, you probably count on a content delivery network (CDN) service provider to ensure that your content is always available.

 

But what happens when you need to do the reverse—to remove your content from a user's access path, just as fast as you delivered it? What happens when hundreds of copies of your file are cached across multiple geo locations, and you need to purge them all immediately?

 

Consider these scenarios:

 

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(1) An e-commerce company mistakenly posts the wrong image for a low-cost item in its online inventory, displaying the image of a $1,200 product with a $90 price tag.

 

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(2) A global software company discovers a glitch during beta testing, which could cause security issues and provoke customer anger and mistrust. The testing team must react quickly to prevent users from downloading the incorrect version.

 

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(3) The top article on a popular news site contains a reporting error, causing readers to act on false information about a major economic issue and potentially affecting the stock market.

 

 

These are extreme examples, but surprisingly common. Consider Amazon's mistaken $0.01 sale of the $599 LG G4 smartphone, the case of the missing Apple Music files, and the New York Times' premature publication of two conflicting articles about a U.S. Senate vote.

 

CDNs receive regular requests from customers that need to purge content from cache right now. Although their situations are urgent, customers are often left tapping their fingers while content is manually deleted from a centralized queue. Requests can become backlogged and purges can take hours to execute.

 

A less dramatic example is an organization that regularly replaces or deletes files like scripts and style sheets. In these cases, the consequences of serving stale content may not be as dire. However, purging can still cost your business in the form of process inefficiency.

 

Even with self-service options, submitting a single command can require a clunky, multi-step workflow that is not repeatable. And verifying that content was actually purged, especially from multiple servers, is a resource drain that consumes valuable cycles and leaves you guessing.

 

The Internet is a globally interconnected superhighway, where information moves fast and business have to move even faster. SmartPurge from Limelight allows you to shortcut the problems normally associated with purge, deleting content permanently from the network edge in a matter of seconds and removing guesswork from the process.

 

Check out this short video demo from CDN expert Steve Miller-Jones to see how it works.

 

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On July 25th, in preparing for major upcoming customer events, Limelight was removing older technology from its infrastructure when an error was encountered. This resulted in degraded delivery performance for a subset of Limelight customers starting at 1:15 am MST. The root cause of this particular issue was definitively identified, isolated, and resolved with service being restored to most customers within 45 min and full service being restored within 2 hours. Customer satisfaction is Limelight Network’s highest priority. Limelight is committed to continuous improvement of its support systems and processes with a goal of eliminating service disruption.

If you have ever downloaded anything from the Internet – be it a mobile app, a software patch, or an application – there is a high likelihood you had a frustrating experience at some point.

 

That’s because most companies providing updates or software files only think in the context of the download speed of the file being delivered. They confine their performance and reliability measurements just to the file being downloaded, but fail to see the big picture.

 

While file download speed, reliability, and availability have a major impact on your end-user satisfaction measurement, they do not constitute of the whole download experience.

 

In our recent State of Digital Downloads survey, we found out that almost 30% of users blamed the brand (your company!) in the case of a frustrating download experience. In fact, 40% of users switched context or abandoned a webpage within 5 seconds of delay.

 

Believe it or not, your end users may be getting impacted by a slow download portal. Your Beta software version that was supposed to drive early adoption and pave the way for future product success? It’s entangled in the mess of a slow download portal.

 

Download the report

 

This said, it is a very addressable situation.

 

Software download portals should not be perceived as an afterthought. Everything that goes on in that portal – the download manager, product usage videos, security – are all part of the end user’s experience. For example, if your download portal requires a login page (or in other words is gated), how slow is the login page?

 

Using dynamic web acceleration technologies like Limelight Orchestrate Performance, you can drastically improve the time it takes for end users to log in and access the files they need. As a part of our latest solution to address these challenges for Software and Device Manufacturers, we not only accelerate the download portal, but also make sure your training videos are accessible for all devices, and the geo-restrictions are in place according to policies you set. It is the most advanced end-to-end software delivery and device update solution.

 

Every day, Limelight helps companies use our intelligent technology to solve their global business challenges. We would love to hear from you and continue the conversation on Limelight Connect.

 

Keep the conversation going on Twitter with @LLNW and @_AllThingsMe.

In this second blog in a three part series exploring challenges and solutions to developing and distributing software releases and device updates, we will look at the Beta phase. A follow-on blog will cover final release delivery.

 

It’s time for Beta testing. Now it starts to get exciting – all the development teams’ hard work, late nights and weekends getting the new code ready for testing by your users or potential users has brought you to the final stages of development. You have pre-qualified Beta users excited to test your software. You want to make a great first impression by delivering the best possible software download experience.  How are you going to do this globally and manage the download of regional code versions? Can your website handle downloads securely and be responsive to user testing feedback?    

                            

One of the challenges you have to contend with is the growing number of devices and frequency of updates. Consider the very fragmented Android installed base, or virus definition updates to devices running various operating systems. The below infographic clearly shows that fragmentation is getting worse over time:

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The challenge here is the number of different update files specific to each type of device and OS that have to be delivered to the correct device. This is where you leverage Limelight’s smart edge detection, giving you user geo-location and device type enabling delivery of the correct file to each user. Here is your chance to enhance brand integrity with the best possible download experience. Here’s what the cloud infrastructure looks like to provide these benefits:

 

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Limelight’s Software and Device Manufacturers Solution solves the Beta phase challenges, combining the power and reach of one of the world’s largest private content delivery networks (CDN) with a purpose-built intelligent platform to deliver your digital files reliably and securely anywhere in the world. Learn more about Limelight’s Orchestrate for Software and Device Manufacturers Solution Here on the Limelight website. Read a great White Paper on user expectations for downloading software and how to meet their requirements. If you are curious about what users across generations think today about their download experiences and what devices they use, check out this new Survey. Or see what a leading security software developer does to deliver awesome download experiences to their customers in this Case Study.

 

Next week I will blog about the challenges of the Delivery and Update phase of distributing the final software release or device update.

In this video demo, Limelight Product Manager Steve Miller-Jones demonstrates how to purge content from the Limelight content delivery network (CDN) in a matter of seconds. Orchestrate Delivery customers can access an intuitive interface via the Control management portal, and remove content from user access with a real-time effect using SmartPurge.

 

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Today, we launched RAMP (Recognition, Awards, and Motivation Program) on Limelight Connect to provide community members with a fun way to view interesting and helpful content and contribute to the community--while earning points and recognition. If you participate in other communities or forums, you are probably already familiar with earning points and gaining recognition for your contributions.

 

If you aren’t familiar, you’ll find that RAMP is fun, easy, and rewarding. Start small by adding an avatar to your profile or liking someone’s post. Earn more points each time you add valuable contributions, such as asking or answering questions, creating blog posts, and providing ongoing contributions to the community.

 

What are Missions?

Missions are specific actions that we encourage you to take in the community. By successfully completing a mission, you earn points. Missions can be simple, such as liking someone else’s post, or more difficult, such as performing a series of tasks to earn big points. The more valuable your contributions, the more points you earn for the mission.

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What are Badges?

Badges are images that are awarded to you when you successfully complete a mission. It’s fun to earn and collect the badges as you continue to contribute to the community. You can even display earned badges on your own profile.

 

What are Levels?

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Levels are earned by completing missions and accruing points. The more missions you complete, the more points you accumulate, and the higher your ranking within the community.

 

Discover which contributions are more valuable and how many points you'll need to earn to get to the next level! You'll find it's easy to engage in the community and move from Level 1 (Byte) to Level 2 (Kilobyte), but what will it take to get to Level 6 (Terabyte) or Level 9 (Yottabyte)? You'll have to find out by continually engaging with us and offering contributions.

 

 

 

 

 

How Do I Get Started?

Log in to see whether you've completed a mission and earned points and badges. After logging in, view your own profile and look at your profile details. Scroll down to see your activity. Take a look at the missions to see how many you've achieved and how close you are to achieving others. Take a look at Rankings to see how you compare to other community members. Then get going and start interacting with your peers in the community!

 

Not yet a member? Register right here.

 

We hope you enjoy this new feature on Limelight Connect, and as always, we welcome your feedback. Feel free to comment on this post or send me an email at eforan@llnw.com.

 

 

Thanks,

 

Eileen

RedVector, an industry-leading online training provider, actively sought a way to improve efficiencies in hosting and delivering its mobile video training courses to students.

 

To get started, RedVector partnered with Limelight and began using the Limelight Content Delivery Network (CDN) to host and deliver mobile training content. Limelight has turbocharged how we distribute online video to media devices everywhere. Its intuitive interface lets us load up video and have it automatically converted to the formats we need.

 

As online organizations like RedVector can attest, it’s become increasingly harder to master a multiformat, multichannel, multidevice universe. Limelight methods allowed RedVector training videos to be served up in a single format compatible with all browsers and devices, and made course videos “lighter,” freeing up significant space. RedVector was also able to view reports on usage that were not available before.

 

This summer, RedVector began using the Limelight video platform with impressive results. The new video player transcodes on the fly based on the learner's browser/device. RedVector simply uploads a single MP4 video, and the player does the rest. It also has an adaptive bitrate feature, which means that the learner's bandwidth determines the quality of the video presented. If the bandwidth is low, then a slightly lower quality video is displayed for a second or two. As the bandwidth catches up, the higher quality video plays, without skipping a beat.

 

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Using Limelight, RedVector has also been able to include captions in the bottom of its video content. This also gives some flexibility in incorporating captions in different languages. Finally, RedVector is utilizing Limelight’s video analytics to manage and monitor usage and other metrics.

In this first blog in a three part series exploring challenges and solutions to developing and distributing software releases and device updates, we will look at the development phase. Two follow-on blogs will cover Beta and final release delivery.

 

Imagine you are the product manager for a hot new software release, or the coolest new connected device getting an important code update. Like most organizations, your development team may be dispersed across multiple locations globally. To manage development files, you may use a software developer’s file versioning management tool, and have a secured central software file repository that is shared.

                                

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Some of the challenges you face in this environment include slow file upload/download (depending on the network infrastructure connecting the remote locations), ensuring security of the file transfers, and replication of files in multiple locations to guarantee their availability in the case of unplanned events. One thing you can count on is software files are growing in size from release to release and as development progresses. As an example – look at the size increase in AppleTM IOS software from release 7.0 to release 8.0 –> 43%:

 

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These challenges bring with them something else – a manual workflow to handle all the tasks. Happily, there are solutions to these challenges. Take advantage of cloud storage and infrastructure for global scale to reach all your remote locations. Cloud storage integrated with a CDN will provide multiple file ingest methods and locations. You can have policy-based file replication, positioning files near developers in remote locations. As the size and number of files increases, you will be able to scale on demand. Here’s what the cloud infrastructure would look like to provide these benefits:

 

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Limelight’s Software and Device Manufacturers Solution solves the development phase challenges, combining the power and reach of one of the world’s largest private content delivery networks (CDN) with a purpose-built intelligent platform to deliver your digital files reliably and securely anywhere in the world. Learn more about Limelight’s Orchestrate for Software and Device Manufacturers Solution Here on the Limelight website. Read a great White Paper on user expectations for downloading software and how to meet their requirements. If you are curious about what users across generations think today about their download experiences and what devices they use, check out this new Survey. Or see what a leading security software developer does to deliver awesome download experiences to their customers in this Case Study.

 

Next week I will blog about the Beta phase of development and the challenges and solutions to having a successful Beta program.

We're excited to share with you how the Limelight Orchestrate™ Delivery and Storage platform is helping Sophos deliver security and identity protection updates every four hours to millions of customers around the world.  Alastair Pooley, VP Data Centre Operations, Sophos sums it up nicely.  “We needed a new solution to ensure seamless delivery in the background at all times to vigilantly protect our customers from constantly evolving security threats.  The sad reality is that when the CDN platform does its job well, it is much like plumbing -- it just works! The data flows along the CDN and operates without interruption. That has been our experience with the Limelight Networks CDN.”

Read the press release here.

Read the case study here.

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Yesterday was Day 3, the final Day of E3, and Limelighters set out once again to explore a major theme of the show - the mixing of reality and game play in increasingly creative ways. We stood in line for a preview of the new Warner Bros. Lego Dimensions which combines digital and Lego reality in one playset.  Add or subtract cool prescribed pieces (which you can build yourself) and  they suddenly appear or disappear in your game. Lego lovers are going to enjoy this for sure.  There’s lots more but unfortunately we can’t tell you about it, lest Lego Batman and his pals find us before September when the game and its many expansion packs are released.

 

We lingered at the enormous Square Enix booth where huge footage of Kingdom Hearts III was playing. Though it won’t be released for some time, the game is already drawing praise for its look and feel.

 

At the spacious Disney booth the lines were long to win a figurine from the newly announced Disney Infinity 3.0 Star Wars play sets coming this fall.

Activision had a huge presence at the show, as did sister company Blizzard, each with separate booths. Activision’s was anchored in one corner by Guitar Hero, where despite the early hour, real and even zombie  guitarists were belting out hits.

 

Bandai Namco had extensive lines to try out all the new ways of fighting that will be incorporated into its new releases, including Dark Souls III which it announced for  September availability.  The studio also announced SuperNova which will blend the best elements of a MOBA and strategy game.  Players will have access to a wide variety of deadly technology but will have to use their own wits to know when to pull it in and how to configure their units.

We looped back to Sony and Microsoft’s section of the show both of which remained busy into the afternoon. Sony previewed three upcoming games in an innovative three-part theater where we were warned shark bombs would be dropped on us if we filmed anything.  We previewed: Horizon Zero Dawn, The Last Guardian, and Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End. The hype around Last Guardian and its amazing artwork is well deserved, and the imagination that went into creating this creature, the boy and their world are breathtaking.  It was great to see a woman at the center of the action in Zero Dawn whose plot offers allusions to global warming apocalypse and Terminator. Thief’s End offered cool action end-to-end, and it’s hard not to admire the total freedom the characters enjoy - except from their greed, of course.  Our only regret was we didn’t get to see more of HALO at the Microsoft booth ( which I promised in yesterday’s blog) but fans had a lock on that until deep into the afternoon.

 

After brief visits to Wargaming, Crytek, Telltale, Tencent, and Deep Silver meeting areas it was finally time to go home.  The hundreds of game announcements at E3 reinforced some trends for our team. One - cross platform game releases are here to stay.  Virtually every new release was described as coming out on console and pc simultaneously (with mobile not far behind in many cases). Two -mixing reality action and game play creates a level of exciting unpredictability that is transforming gaming. Three- both gamers and publishers alike are investing in games with continuous play potential, and the need for easy, digital access to new content throughout a game’s lifecycle is only going to grow.

 

All in all we left feeling proud that Limelight is a reliable partner to such a creative and dynamic industry.

 

Elsewhere on Limelight Connect:  See our video footage from: Square Enix, Disney Booth, EA, and Konami!

ablanchard

Limelight Team Goes to E3

Posted by ablanchard Jun 17, 2015

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Limelight representatives from LA and Boston were at E3 today - the second day of the Entertainment Software Association's biggest trade show for the gaming community.  So many of our customers are here - it was exciting to see what they and major industry publishers have in the pipeline for release this fall.   I waited an hour and a half in line to see 505 Games' virtual reality demo of their new game Adrift using Occulus VR and it was totally worth it!   Adrift is a first person interactive game featuring you - an astronaut who has been through trauma and  has no memory of what happened - floating through the ruins of your spaceship.  With virtual reality in effect you can maneuver through the ship picking up essentials like extra oxygen bottles while you figure out what happened - and how to save yourself.  The best part was leaving the ship to "spacewalk" thousands of miles above LA. This is definitely the closest I'll come to the real thing, and it was pretty satisfying.

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What happens when real life and game life merge?  Well I had a chance to find out when real life zombies somehow produced ID to get into the show.  I couldn't get them to stay and listen to how Limelight helps game publishers deliver games and video, but luckily my destiny wasn't death by zombies, but rather to meet up with some protective but silent characters from Sony's best selling game.  Sony has a tremendous presence at the show.  It's action adventure release The Last Guardian features fabulous graphics and shows the cooperative efforts of a boy and his gryphon-like companion as they go through one trial after another.

 

Providing evidence that cross-platform gaming has come into its own, Microsoft announced that mods created on the PC can be transferred, played and shared on Xbox One.  It's huge presence at the show also introduced new content for HALO 5.  More on this in tomorrow's blog.  The line for Microsoft's demos was so long I would still be there with the zombies if I tried to get in today.  For those of us who like gorgeous cars, the car in Forza 6 announced by Microsoft for a September release is just that - gorgeous.  Best of all, the lifelike driving in the game is pretty close to the real thing.

 

As a long time fan of Tom Clancy, I was thrilled to see Ubisoft's new game: Tom Clancy's The Division.  The preview features amazing team play -  and absolutely stunning graphics.  Bring your trusted friends and quick reaction time to this game when it comes out in early 2016!

 

Limelight customer Nintendo wasn't alone in live streaming direct from the floor. Nintendo showed off a whole new slate of Wii U games including Legend of Zelda: Tri-force heroes, as well as lots of new content for Super Smash Bros. Live streaming of the show was taking place everywhere, and more than one Limelight employee has spent the last two days with an open window on their desktop keeping tabs on the shows' latest developments.  If you want to know more about how Limelight keeps all 22 of Nintendo Europe's websites streaming video day and night, just search Nintendo on Limelight's website.

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Gamespot did a piece on where to find ESports at the show (hint: their games have a lot of tanks in them).  Check out Anna Prosser Robinson's report at http://http://www.gamespot.com/videos/e3-on-the-front-line-are-esports-at-e3/2300-6409932/

I also had a chance to visit Razer, whose super cool hardware helps make Esports so exciting and easy to watch.

 

As one of the top digital distribution partners for gaming, it's great to see so many terrific new games lined up for release later this year.  Clearly we'll be busy this fall!

 

More from the floor tomorrow!

Anne B.

Devices exist all around us. In fact, Cisco™ predicts that there will be 15 billion Internet-enabled devices out there by the end of 2015.

 

That wasn’t always the case. The 2000s were the decade of mobile. Businesses focused on enabling smartphones as the most important way to reach an audience.

 

Today, however, companies that are focused only on reaching smartphones are missing out on almost 50% of their potential audience. As an example of the expanding universe of devices – and the business opportunity in reaching users across every one of them – the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration published a series of high profile recall announcements in February 2014. Two major auto manufacturers were forced to address the recall by making repairs at dealerships nationwide, at a high cost to business. Smart car maker Tesla™, on the other hand, conducted as an “over the air” software update to solve the problem, addressing the issue with dramatically fewer resources and on an accelerated timeline.

 

In fact, Tesla releases software updates every 34 days for their cars—achieving in a matter of days what used to take months or even years to accomplish – at a comparatively lower cost.

 

 

Today’s smart devices range from connected cars, to refrigerators, to televisions… There are just too many categories to list!

 

And your audience is not ready to compromise on their experience downloading software to any one of them. Taking full advantage of the business opportunity offered by reaching every connected device means delivering on that expectation every time.

 

It starts with receiving and pushing timely device updates, but companies face many complex challenges throughout each stage of their workflow: development, beta, and finally delivery and update.

 

Development

Sharing large files or software binaries across globally distributed teams is no small task. Teams are more virtual than ever before, but your data centers are mostly centralized; according to one study, almost 64% of the companies surveyed had developers outside of their main campus. The inability of a distributed workforce to access files or share them quickly, reliably, and efficiently across geo-locations negatively impacts productivity.

 

Beta programs

Software beta programs are difficult to run at global scale. Beta programs are generally restricted to certain geographies or in some cases even certain companies. Protecting your intellectual property is critical to your businesses success. So is ensuring a great download experience. Your end users might not even download the beta software if the download portal is too slow; in fact, 20% of users report that they will abandon an online experience just after 3 seconds of delay. The ideal download experience is comprised of a download portal, fast download, and error-free files.

 

To learn more  download our research report

 

Delivery and Update

Delivering software and device updates both securely and reliably is a big concern. Gone are the days when end users would wait for their devices to update. The industry is moving toward a paradigm called “continuous streaming updates.” Companies like Sophos™ deliver thousands of updates every month to their end users’ devices; learn more about how Limelight is helping Sophos™ in this case study . What happens when a company like that is unable to satisfy the end user? According to recent Limelight research, over 30% of users blame the business brand for a failed or interrupted download experience.

 

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To learn more  download our research report

 

Future proofing to be able to deliver and update to these devices and the devices of the future is complex, costly, and impractical to do yourself.

 

Today Limelight announced a new solution specifically designed to enable fast, reliable, and secure delivery of software and device updates with the most optimized workflow. The Limelight Orchestrate Solution for Software and Device Manufacturers was uniquely developed to address precisely the challenges that face the market today.

 

 

The solution offers network reach, intelligence, and cloud-based technology to enable your business more potential customers with greater efficiency than ever before:

 

  • Global Private Network: Limelight operates one of the world’s largest private networks with industry-leading cache efficiency, scale and availability that ensures a reliable, consistent download experience anywhere, anytime.
  • Device Detection: Smart edge device detection ensures the correct updates are delivered to every connected device irrespective of whether it is a wired or over-the-air (OTA) update.
  • Zero-Rated Traffic: A unique solution that enables toll-free content delivery over carrier networks, allowing end-users to access content without worrying about data-usage related bill shock.
  • Cloud Storage: A globally distributed origin storage solution that integrates with Limelight’s CDN to optimize worldwide delivery and management of media and software content by positioning content close to end-users, simplifying storage and lowering operational costs.
  • Robust Security: Global secure delivery (SSL) capacity, geo-fencing for regional access rights and DDoS Attack Interceptor for attack mitigation combine to protect digital file delivery against downtime, loss of business and negative impact on brand reputation.
  • Actionable Insights: Analyze user activity like content popularity, device usage and regional information to provide a better download experience.

 

Every day, Limelight helps companies use our intelligent technology to solve their global business challenges. We would love to hear from you and continue the conversation on Limelight Connect.

 

Keep the conversation going on Twitter with @LLNW and @_AllThingsMe.

Last week, we held our first Executive Forum for customers in EMEA.  As you might remember we launched the program last December with a customer meeting in New York. Limelight's Executive Forum program presents an opportunity for customers and our executive management team to discuss requirements, technology, directions and better ways for us to serve you.

 

At the event last week in London, we heard from leading companies in media and broadcasting, software, and sports who were very articulate in their input to our team.  We look forward to future events in other global locations during the remainder of 2015. Thank you to all our customers who participated in this event last week.  A special thanks to the Arsenal Football Club as we hosted the meeting in their beautiful stadium.

 

Please contact your account manager for more details on future events.

 

We are pleased to share with you that the Limelight Orchestrate™ (“Orchestrate”) solution for Media and Broadcasters has won the 2015 Global Business Excellence Award for Outstanding New Product/Service. These awards recognize and reward business excellence throughout the world.

“With the demand for online video content set to double by 2018, Limelight provides a solution for broadcasters that will automatically convert content into the required format for optimal viewing across mobile, desktop, hand-held and other devices,” said the chairman of judges. “In the fast-moving digital market, the Orchestrate solution for Media and Broadcasters is just what’s needed to provide broadcast quality content to every device.”

Read our press release here to learn more details.