HostingJournalist.com sat down with Peer5 company founders Hadar Weiss and Shachar Zohar to talk about some content delivery network trends and the CDN solutions delivered by Peer5. The company’s CDN is a bit different from many other CDN technologies available in the market, as Peer5’s solution is not using any servers for distributing the content.
Peer5 has supported the Internet broadcasting at FIFA World Cup in Russia this year with its serverless CDN technology. Can you explain, what exactly is the benefit of a serverless CDN for video streaming at such a scale?
“Four years ago, streaming wasn’t really a viable option for long-form viewing,” said Hadar Weiss, co-founder and CEO of Peer5. “This year, streaming was definitely an alternative to traditional broadcast, with many high quality streams, some even in 4K, as well as polished apps. A serverless approach has great advantages when it comes to optimizing user experiences. Think about the 2018 World Cup in Russia, with millions of concurrent viewers. The benefit of our peer-to-peer network during such an event is that it grows with the demand.”
How different is it from other CDN technologies available in the market?
“With traditional CDNs, it can be difficult to cope with a huge number of viewers, especially when quite some viewers come from outside the US and Europe, as is the case with the FIFA World Cup. For example from countries such as Zambia and Nigeria and other countries in Africa,” added Mr. Weiss. “A serverless, peer-2-peer approach towards content delivery then offers a huge advantage. The more viewers that actually watch the games the better the CDN is going to work. So you don’t have to worry about the server capacity and you don’t have to scale server infrastructure, which also makes it more cost-efficient.”
Are you saying that Peer5’s CDN technology is better than the more traditional CDNs being offered?
“You can not work with a single CDN when you want to ensure the best quality when it comes to delivering streaming video content to users on an international scale,” added Mr. Weiss. “Everybody nowadays understands that you will need multi-CDN for creating the best user experience. Redundancy is pretty much key for live streaming. The first step would be to use one CDN purely for caching and removal of ingestion. After that it is very easy to add another CDN, up to even 2 or 4. You’re then able to load balance between CDNs and switch to a healthy one in case of an issue.”
So you would advise us to use various CDNs next to each other for video streaming content?
“Different types of CDNs can complement each other. Today, it’s quite easy to go multi-CDN, as there are many types of CDNs now. Some types rely on telcos. Some types rely on commercial CDNs. We are probably somewhere in between with our serverless approach.”
Can you explain a bit more about how the Peer5 CDN works?
“As said, we’re not deploying any servers,” said Shachar Zohar, co-founder and CTO of Peer5. “We’re relying on PoPs that are deployed in the US, Europe and anywhere in the world. As such, we have unlimited capacity because we have end user devices being used as PoPs. The server-based CDNs available today are pretty much limited by their server capacity and available bandwidth as well as their global reach. A serverless CDN doesn’t have these kinds of capacity or geographical limitations.”
What does it mean for users, as part of this peer-to-peer mesh network?
“As a viewer, part of the stream, you ‘ll have a Peer5 plugin being connected to your player. This Peer5 plugin will know how to connect with other viewers that are watching the same stream at the same time. Once those viewers are connected, the technology will know how to switch in a very smart way between the ACP segment and the peer-to-peer network. That way you can optimize the video streaming performance for your users. You can lower the buffering and have faster loading times. The algorithm and techniques make sure that the CDN is being offloaded into the peer-to-peer network.”
Peer5 is a company that originated from Israel while its HQs are located in Silicon Valley. The company operates one of the world’s largest peer-to-peer (p2p) content delivery networks and has distributed their clients’ video content in 235 out of 249 countries in the world. They believe that the only way to make streaming video as scalable as broadcast television is to employ a p2p architecture – enabling streaming capacity to grow proportionally with streaming demand. Peer5 handles around 500 million video sessions per month.