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2015

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.