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All Places > In the Limelight Blog > 2016 > June
2016

At Limelight, we pride ourselves on delivering excellent service, including a superior cache hit rate. High cache hit rates improve response time, throughput, and availability, and protect customer origins from high requests per second and high traffic. High cache hit rates help customers to avoid costly buildouts of networks, servers and locations to protect them, because Limelight provides that protection for them.

 

Through Limelight’s diligent and relentless efforts, we have made a phenomenal leap in cache at the edge. In fact, utilized cache at the edge is now 33 petabytes, which is 50% more than the 22 petabytes from just a few months ago.

 

What is the impact? One way to measure it is to look at the data from one of our customers, a multi-national software and device manufacturer. For this customer, we charted out cache hit ratio and requests per second from March 1-June 10, 2016.

 

Here is what we see:

 

In a time of significant CDN traffic growth for us and the industry, this customer had a cache hit rate of 98.45% on May 1, and by June 1 had moved to an incredible cache hit rate of 99.83%. Even better, the cache hit rate had very low variability (standard deviation of a mere 0.65%) even though their traffic was highly variable!

 

 

On any given day, we are managing an astonishing 20 to 25 billion objects in cache at the edge. We have added 50% more total cache at edge while significantly reducing the number of total servers as we move to be much more dense and green and power efficient.  Proof that server count is an irrelevant metric, and is only a sign of inefficiency and an aging fleet!

 

We have the best CDN service, and now there is 50% more of it—with better performance, fewer total servers, less total electricity, and less total floor space. We’ve gone from great to incredible!

Earlier this week, we shared the exciting news that Limelight joined the Google Cloud Platform CDN Interconnect program. This collaboration brings some significant benefits to anyone using Google’s Cloud Platform with Limelight’s Content Delivery Network (CDN).

 

As an interconnect partner, Limelight has a number of direct interconnect links with Google’s edge network. So, if you are using Google’s Cloud Platform with Limelight’s CDN, your traffic will bypass the public Internet. That results in dramatic performance improvements and lower costs, since your traffic is subject to Google’s discounted egress pricing.

 

Adding CDN delivery to your Google Cloud Platform services brings other benefits as well. Digital content is cached in the Limelight CDN offloading your Google Cloud Platform origin and further reducing network egress costs. In addition, you get to use all of the value-added services a leading CDN provider like Limelight offers, including security services like SSL encryption and DDoS protection.

 

We are excited to be partnering with Google’s Cloud Platform and we will continue to work on tighter integration in the future to benefit our joint customers. Stay tuned!

 

You can read more about the Google-Limelight relationship on our website.

Organizations interested in distributing live video streams need to make decisions about how much of the process to handle themselves vs. offloading to service providers. A starting point would be to examine what other companies have done to successfully transition to publishing their own content. As a hypothetical example we will look at a company that produces and packages on-demand and live streaming videos, and distributes them via YouTube.

The popularity of YouTube as a go-to site for on-demand and live video is unquestioned. Of the broad spectrum of content hosted on this site, a particularly useful genre is workout at home video. For the organizations producing content in this space, leveraging YouTube’s infrastructure is an easy way to distribute exercise videos to viewers, but at the risk of having them enticed by all the on-page content, and click away from your video. For video producers with a large and growing audience, protecting their brand and keeping users engaged is of paramount importance. A good way to accomplish this is to distribute the videos directly to subscribers, but most companies lack the infrastructure to broadly reach subscribers everywhere.

Introduction to MMD Live

Fortunately, Limelight’s Multi-device Media Delivery Live (MMD Live) provides the infrastructure to take in their live streaming feed and make it available for their website. We are going to explore new capabilities now available with MMD Live that enable live streaming with the flawless viewing experience demanded by audiences. We will limit the discussion to formatting streams for various viewing devices and distributing them globally.

MMD Live simplifies the workflow for delivery of live streaming content in the face of many challenges. Among them is supporting the variety of devices users consume video on, from Smart TVs, to laptops, mobile screens, and game consoles, as well as a company’s mobile app, Roku channel and their syndication partners. To address this, MMD Live supports transcoding to multiple bitrates and formats from a single live stream, and transmuxing into the popular formats HLS, HDS, MSS, RTMP and RTSP. Offloading stream transcoding and transmuxing to cloud-based services eliminates CapEx expenditure for on-site compute resources and management of the workflow.

Easy Delivery

Production tools have become sophisticated and inexpensive, so our fitness video company would have a straightforward path to producing their own OTT channel. Mixing live streaming with pre-produced video to create a 24/7 channel is easily within a small company’s capacity. Distribution to a geographically and device diverse audience is where MMD Live provides a cost effective service that the company cannot easily reproduce.

To simplify the process of generating the correct format stream for every user device, MMD Live lets you send a single bitrate RTMP stream to the Limelight ingest servers, and the stream will be trancoded and transmuxed into multiple bitrates of playback formats HLS, HDS, MSS, RTMP, and RTSP. The converted stream is sent to edge delivery servers located across our global network and allow viewers to access the live stream on any device within seconds, no matter where they are. If viewers are watching using the Limelight live video player, their experience will be optimized as the video player autoselects format and bitrate for the device and the current connection speed. If you use your own video player, the playback URLs provided will allow access to multiple bitrate streams so your player can optimize the viewing experience in the same way the Limelight video player does.

More Features

In addition to making worldwide delivery to multiple devices, here’s what’s new in MMD Live:

 

    • A new MMD Live Transmux slot—Sophisticated content providers can publish multiple bitrates of their live stream to MMD Live for multi-format delivery.
    • Control Self Service User Interface—Access to the Limelight Control Portal gives you direct access for you to configure slots, copy them, delete slots, and view slot detail and reports.
    • MediaVault—Server side authentication service secures live streams from unauthorized access.
    • Integrated Live Player—The SmartEmbed live video player for websites autoselects for device, browser, and connection speed.

Business benefits

The new capabilities make MMD Live a more powerful platform enhancement for delivering live video streams to global audiences, with numerous business benefits. Stream delivery is simplified by automatic on-the-fly format conversion during live streaming with delivery directly to users. Protect content from unauthorized access to enforce licensing restrictions. MMD integration with the Limelight CDN provides instant global scale to get your content to audience devices anywhere.

If you have any questions about MMD Live or the new capabilities, please contact your account manager. They are, as always, here to help you succeed.