Today, CDNs are responsible for more than half of the internet consumer traffic. They play an important part in boosting the speed and performance of websites by reducing the stress of static content on the original server.
Further, CDNs are not only delivering content rapidly, but also offering analytical information for content producers.
In the following interview with CIO Review, Highwinds Vice President of Marketing Jay Moore offers a glimpse inside Highwinds, their innovative suite of products and services and how Highwinds works to deliver first-class solutions while continuing to add capacity and extend its network to deliver content around the world for its customers.
StrikeTracker: Unprecedented Command and Control over CDN
Content Delivery Networks (CDNs) have transformed the web over the past 15 years. The utilization of a CDN helps users deliver video streams and file downloads across a network of interconnected data centers. Since 2002, Florida-based Highwinds has offered a comprehensive suite of solutions including content delivery, storage, analytics, web acceleration, video preparation and cloud-based IP services.
The company distributes content over its high-performance RollingThunder network to millions of global users every day, while customers gain unprecedented control with the StrikeTracker console and open APIs.
“Highwinds operates its own network which differentiates us as a CDN, and we peer with approximately 15,000 networks globally, giving us a major cost and performance advantage over others,” says Jay Moore, VP of Marketing, Highwinds.
According to Moore, a soaring appetite for rich, engaging content requires continual breakthroughs in delivery services and build-out of network capacity. By collaborating with Highwinds, clients access a fully-functional command and control console and a massive global infrastructure on five continents.
“Customers can purge content and apply config changes in milliseconds, and also access real-time reports through our cutting-edge CDN management portal, StrikeTracker,” adds Moore.
StrikeTracker is a front-end control console for managing all Highwinds CDN services. Users can apply changes to the CDN such as origin assignment, transcoding profiles, content protection and more in real time. The next-generation, responsive architecture solves the problem legacy CDNs still face; getting messages to servers spread throughout the world. Highwinds’ private backbone and patented communication layer work in concert.
Each server continuously communicates with every other server, so when a content policy is applied the action takes place instantly. “We recently launched the third version of our StrikeTracker console. We’re hearing from our customers that the responsive design and added features make it far and away the best CDN console ever offered,” explains Moore.
The company also offers Highwinds Cloud Storage, a cloud of distributed storage nodes designed to support online storage needs with assurance of high availability and asset durability. The most recent product released by Highwinds is EveryStream. Unlike traditional OVPs, EveryStream allows customers to choose the specific services they need. Users can build a workflow that functions with their internal systems while leveraging the company’s advanced streaming technologies. The functionality is built right into StrikeTracker so customers can control the video CMS and CDN in a single interface. As the name states, EveryStream helps companies deliver video to every device and under a wide range of network conditions.
Highwinds also created the Game Delivery Network to address the unique challenges of delivering online games. The GDN includes CDN services that have been optimized for game delivery to create a truly different experience for game companies.
“Today games are not a one-time purchase. Ongoing patches and updates are critical to monetization. GDN addresses both the need for a high-throughput network to handle massive file sizes, and also the complexity of delivering multiple versions of games to a myriad of devices, all over the world,” continues Moore.
Highwinds is the primary CDN provider for LiveRail, a Facebook company. Highwinds was brought alongside another top-tier CDN but quickly outperformed and replaced the incumbent CDN provider. LiveRail integrates raw logs from the StrikeTracker API into their real-time analytics dashboard to provide themselves with data-driven, actionable insights on user behavior.
For the company, the two biggest things happening in the days to come include new product launches and a massive augment to their network with both capacity and performance in mind. “We are investing heavily on added capacity and extending our network to new regions,” concludes Moore.
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