What Is Open Caching? How Will It Transform Content Delivery Networks?


Cisco, Qwilt, and Digital Alpha Launch Open Caching as-a-service model

Cisco, Qwilt, and Digital Alpha (DA) yesterday introduced a new Open Caching-based service offering that could potentially transform the Content Delivery Network (CDN) market.

Open Caching is an open architecture developed and endorsed by the Streaming Video Alliance. It offers a platform that federates content delivery infrastructure deployed deep inside service provider networks into a global CDN with open APIs for content publishers. It is designed to help service providers easily deploy an edge CDN footprint, offering them more control over content flows. It also caters to the needs of global and regional content providers for more capacity, consistency in content delivery, and performance assurance.

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The partnership features Digital Alpha as the investing partner providing a unique funding solution, Qwilt as the content delivery platform based on Open Caching, and Cisco as the edge computing and networking infrastructure provider to deliver the solution as-a-service to service providers of all sizes around the world.

BT, the UK’s leading telecommunications and network provider, in partnership with Qwilt, Cisco, and DA has deployed this solution to add multiple terabits per second of capacity and provide cost-effective, high-quality streaming video to meet its growing demand in 2020 and beyond. Its decision to make the transition to Open Caching is based on the following requirements:

  • Deliver the highest-quality streaming experience across its entire network
  • Support an open architecture endorsed by the Streaming Video Alliance
  • Drive new revenue by becoming an active part of the content delivery value chain
  • Reduce content delivery costs by deploying CDN capabilities inside its network
  • Eliminate deployment costs using the innovative capex-free model

“Streaming video may be the killer app for the internet, but it does not have to KILL the internet,” said Jonathan Davidson, senior vice president and general manager, Mass Scale Infrastructure Group, Cisco. “With streaming video expected to represent north of 80% of traffic flowing through service provider networks in the coming years, content delivery is the first of potentially many services they can deploy from within to monetize their edge footprint in the 5G era. Marking this milestone together with Qwilt and Digital Alpha to enable edge cloud services for service providers, we can change the economics of the internet for the future, partnering with customers like BT to help them manage video traffic more effectively.”

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Why Open Caching Will Transform How Marketers Add Value To the Streaming Media Value Chain?

Streaming content is increasingly delivered in 4K and soon 8K, supporting augmented and virtual reality (AR/VR) applications across multiple devices, over wireline, and wireless connections. This drives network capacity demands, with consumer internet video traffic expected to comprise 82% of all (consumer) internet traffic by 2022, (up from 73% in 2017.)

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Resulting performance requirements are accelerating the shift away from traditional content delivery models, opening up the opportunity for service providers to use their edge assets to deploy their own distributed CDN capabilities and become more active participants in the streaming media delivery value chain.

Industry and streaming ecosystem support for Open Caching is growing, with over 50 global service providers, technology vendors, and content publishers actively involved in moving the content delivery industry in this direction.