Ed-Tech

CDNs play important role in improving performance of Ed-Tech platforms: Limelight

The sudden outbreak of the pandemic resulted in lockdowns being imposed, and schools and colleges shut, making it challenging for the knowledge seekers to rely on the traditional classroom learning.

The lockdown has raised the demand for ed-tech platforms, and CDNs are also ensuring to provide content faster and smoother to users. Limelight Networks, a global leader in digital content delivery, empowers customers to better engage online audiences by enabling them to securely manage and globally deliver digital content, on any device.

Here, Ashwin Rao, Director, Limelight Networks, India, tells us more. Excerpts from an interview:

DQINDIA Online | dqindia

DQ: How does CDN help the Edtech Industry?

Ashwin Rao: The sudden outbreak of the pandemic resulted in lockdowns being imposed, and schools and colleges shut, making it challenging for the knowledge seekers to rely on the traditional classroom learning. The entire scenario led to the majority of students as well as educational institutions turning towards Ed-Tech platforms for online classes.

The Ed-Tech industry in India is growing at a CAGR of 20%. The market size of the education sector in India is expected to reach $1.96 billion by 2021.  

Though the Ed-Tech sector has made it possible for the students to learn from their home, the situation is not the same for everyone. This is because different students access the online platforms on different devices and under varied network conditions. Luckily, there is a way to help ensure  a smooth user experience by using a Content Delivery Network (CDN).

CDNs play an important role in improving the performance of the Ed-Tech platforms delivering live classes with rich media formats, and interactive and engaging learning content to the students.

A CDN is able to deliver complex content to the students even under challenging network conditions, reduce the website load time and improve the website security. A CDN ensures that the content can be played even on devices with limited capability, thereby ensuring quality education without hindrance by reducing the buffering time and improving the workflow both on the websites and mobile applications. 

DQ: How is CDN ensuring the quality of service?

Ashwin Rao: A CDN is a highly-distributed platform with multiple servers spread globally that work towards providing faster delivery of the online content. It helps deliver content to the end-user based on their regional location and also on the basis of the origin webpage. 

It helps in improving the quality of the service in the following ways:

Reducing the website load time- the content is delivered to the website by the nearest CDN server, which reduces the time taken by a website to load. Hence, users experience a faster page loading time. People end up spending more time on the website as the bounce rate is reduced
Reducing the bandwidth cost- Bandwidth cost is one of the primary expenses for any website. A good CDN helps in reducing the hosting cost for the website
Increasing the security of the website and mobile application- The online content delivered with the help of a CDN is much more secure and optimized
Increasing the availability of the content online by reducing data redundancy- It makes it possible for the website to handle heavy traffic and withstand hardware failure, which enhances the overall user experience.

DQ: Why is CDN more important than ever?

Ashwin Rao: The requirement of a CDN has increased in times like today when the majority of the activities are conducted online. In the current scenario, when social distancing is the new normal, almost all the activities from education to shopping are being conducted online.

This has increased the traffic that the websites and mobile applications are facing. The absence of a CDN in such a situation would increase the website’s load time, hampering the users’ experience. A global study indicated that two-third of the viewers stop watching a video if it buffers for the second time. Hence, the role of a CDN has increased like never before.

Ed-Tech companies like Toppr are using services such as Limelight Networks’ CDN for ensuring the seamless delivery of the content and to reduce their rebuffer rate. 

DQ: Please share your product and content delivery roadmap?

Ashwin Rao: Limelight’s CDN ensures quick, reliable, and secure delivery of content to the end users. Our CDN ensures an error-free streaming of videos, websites, mobile applications, games, music, software, and APIs. We ensure a cost-effective experience for both our clients and their customers.

Limelight’s network infrastructure is spread across the globe with a Quality of Service (QoS) enabled network of around 123 Points-of-Presence around the world. Each PoP at Limelight has a density of fast servers which helps the company in offering the highest cache efficiency ratio in the industry.

Peering with over 1,000 ISP and last-mile networks streamlines delivery to online students.  

The EdgePrism software stack from Limelight has produced breakthrough delivery performance. It ensures optimal performance on any network connection type and speed without requiring any special client-side code.

Limelight’s CDN delivers one of the highest cache efficiency in the industry. The request for the content is forwarded to the origin only if the content is not available in the cache of the origin shield PoPs.

Talking about the content delivery roadmap, our focus is on providing high quality and low latency video services. Limelight provides a complete range of live and on-demand video delivery services.

In the key area of edge compute, Limelight’s new EdgeFunctions serverless compute is tightly integrated with the CDN and is ideal for streaming video and content delivery use cases. Today’s streaming video ecosystems often include in-house and third-party services that enhance the core delivery, and EdgeFunctions is an excellent way to manage those services.

Customers can implement their innovative ideas to solve business problems and craft new experiences. New developer tools in Developer Central make it easy for developers to manage delivery services.

Limelight ensures realtime, live and on-demand video delivery with a massive global private network, advanced software and vast network of ISPs. This helps the customers in getting their OTT videos delivered to any device anywhere in the world at high quality and the lowest rebuffer rates in the industry.

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