New high-throughput, low-latency use cases continue to emerge, spurred on by factors including 5G networks, ultra-high-resolution media, new traffic types such as AR/VR, and others. This continuing evolution often pushes conventional CDNs past their limits, interfering with customer experience and service-level agreements (SLAs). A key limitation faced by CDNs is that their outermost points of distribution are typically internet service provider (ISP) network operations centers (NOCs). This property inherently limits how geographically close the staging point can be to the consumer premises equipment (CPE), and therefore how responsive the CDN can be.
A New Era of Deep-Edge Caching and Hyper-Local CDNs
To improve on these geographical limitations of conventional CDNs, picoNETS has developed picoCDN, a deep-edge caching and CDN technology that places an additional layer beyond the conventional CDN edge, extending reach closer to individual end customers. The picoCDN perimeter comprises variously sized points of presence (POPs) that are positioned just one hop from end users. To address diverse use cases and scale from the edge to the datacenter, picoCDN is deployed using a range of devices:
- Standalone/embedded into CPE for homes, offices, and restaurants
- Higher capacity point of service for hotels, malls, co-working spaces, and university buildings
- Outdoor 5G Edge with IP67 protection for unprotected locations such as on poles and masts
- 1U Rackmount for high throughput implementations such as at carriers, ISPs, airports, and campuses
Current implementations of picoCDN include global reach among CoSPs, ISPs, and content providers, with extensive co-development with 5G service providers also underway. Machine learning algorithms continually analyze aggregate usage patterns to predict what content should be cached automatically. Among the most common deployment scenarios are to reduce backhaul requirements for multimedia and live events, website content, and software patches/updates.
For example, a small business might cache its website using a picoNETS device embedded into its ISP-provided wireless gateway, serving content and services locally for very fast employee access. Likewise, equipment that serves a single household or a large public space could automatically cache all mobile phone OS updates, avoiding the need to traverse the backhaul network each time another user updates their phone.
The Intel® Smart Edge Open Advantage
The picoCDN architecture draws on Intel® Smart Edge Open as the highly optimized foundation for managed deployment and orchestration, multi-access edge computing (MEC) development, and edgeDNS services for traffic and content steering and delivery. Intel® Smart Edge Open is a royalty free edge computing software toolkit that enables highly optimized and performant edge platforms to on-board and manage applications and network functions with cloud-like agility across any type of network.
Complementing its efficient provisioning and maintenance of infrastructure, picoCDN also inherits the optimization of Intel® Smart Edge Open for Intel® architecture, which helps deliver high performance and stability in production. This open platform abstracts away complexity to enable innovation while it also streamlines interoperability with a large and growing set of ecosystem partners. These open building blocks help picoCDN deliver edge-based content and services with high throughput, quality of service, and security while cost-effectively delivering deterministically low latency and jitter.
Cost-Effective Delivery of Improved Services
Deep-edge picoCDN moves content closer to end customers, helping deliver lower latency and faster downloads. This topology enables superior service quality, especially for real-time use cases and high-bitrate rich content. In addition to delivering high-quality user experiences, services can scale seamlessly to billions of users, from the edge to the data center, reducing backhaul requirements and expense.
Drawing on the optimized architecture of Intel® Smart Edge Open, picoCDN deploys service provider applications efficiently to the edge. Intelligent caching delivers content to the picoCDN node before it is requested, typically reducing latency by an order of magnitude compared to conventional CDNs. In addition, by placing content origin servers at an additional remove from potential attackers, the picoCDN architecture helps improve operational security.
Serving content requests from the network edge is a breakthrough capability for content and service providers. With a more capable, open topology for delivering next-generation services, picoCDN decongests networks, saves on backhaul, and prepares providers and their end customers alike for the fast-changing future to come.
For more information and to get started with picoCDN, visit networkbuilders.intel.com/commercial-applications/piconets