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CDN Offload

The Benefits of CDN Offload

José D. Vázquez

At Teltoo our objective is helping our customers succeed so we are building the tools for delivery where it matters most. Using CDN offload we can help you achieve your objectives, such as providing the best Quality of Experience (QoE) to your viewers, building the most reliable delivery infrastructure that can handle any amount of (unexpected) traffic, or reducing costs associated with content distribution. 

The benefits that CDN offload provides don’t require complex changes in your video streaming workflow. They can be deployed within a matter of minutes. This post will explore this concept and how to take advantage of this technology.

What is CDN offload?

CDN offload is the proportion of the traffic transferred from other devices, also known as peers, instead of the CDN.

Our dashboard is a powerful tool. It shows KPIs such as bandwidth consumption, user connections, and peer success rate in real-time.

CDN offload is accompanied by the absolute values of P2P and CDN traffic. The traffic handled by the CDN is shown as HTTP, and the traffic delivered through the P2P network from other devices is shown as P2P

It must be noted that the data shown only represents bandwidth consumption of all the traffic that could potentially be transferred through the P2P network. This means that traffic from players or devices not activated won’t count towards the total amount of traffic, and neither that of the disabled playlists.

Mastering the concept

Let’s consider an OTT broadcaster whose user base is 50% web player, 25% Android native app, and 25% iOS native app (and all viewers have access to the same bitrates). The CDN offload shown in the dashboard for the past month was 68%. This broadcaster enabled Teltoo’s technology in the web player and iOS native app, but not in the Android native app. In this case, the CDN offload is computed over 75% of the total traffic, this translates into 51% in CDN savings. 

Alternatively, CDN offload can be expressed as the additional CDN capacity, called CDN capacity increase, as it provides a better intuition on how to dimension your CDN requirements. The precise relation between both KPIs is shown in the following formula, but it is easy to recall that an offload of 50% translates into a 2x capacity scale and an offload of 75% into a 4x capacity scale.

Benefiting from CDN capacity increase

You can use the CDN capacity increase to dimension your CDN budget and requirements. Let’s walk through an example. Suppose you require your current CDN to support up to 500.000 viewers. With a capacity scale of 3x, in other words, a CDN offload of 66%, you would only need CDN capacity for 166.000 viewers. It is common to include a safety factor in case the number of viewers exceeds the forecast. Let’s say it’s 0.5. In this case, the new capacity scale would be 2.5, and so you need to dimension your CDN to support 200.000 viewers. The formula required here is shown below.

These calculations also apply to a scenario based on the required traffic. For a forecast of 10PB a month, a 3x capacity increase, and a safety factor of 0.5, you would just need to budget for 4PB.

Architecting a more robust delivery system

CDN offload is designed to improve the reliability of your content. It expands your CDN capacity while requiring fewer bandwidth and servers. Take advantage of the many benefits of CDN offload. Integrate it into your current streaming and video workflows and start providing your customers with an enhanced viewing experience.

About the author

José is part of the Teltoo team, whose software-only decentralized video delivery technology helps live-streaming providers to improve quality and optimize delivery costs.