Verizon Digital Media Services: CDN Architecture That Improves Load Time So Retailers Can Attract, Convert & Retain Shoppers

Verizon Digital Media Services: CDN Architecture That Improves Load Time So Retailers Can Attract, Convert & Retain Shoppers

TL; DR: Consumers want rich shopping experiences packed with engaging images and video, but they don’t want to wait for pages to load. Annoying service hiccups can chase them away to competitors, perhaps never to return. Verizon Digital Media Services‘ Edgecast Content Delivery Network (CDN) is structured to help retailers exceed consumer expectations — especially at peak traffic times. With its integrated Commerce Acceleration Solution, Edgecast optimizes delivery of non-cacheable content like payment pages and intelligently delivers consistently fast performance across devices. Backed by a consultative support team and a service delivery model offering superior ROI, the Edgecast CDN is purpose-built for retailers looking to deliver modern shopping applications to consumers worldwide.

Big shopping holidays — such as Black Friday — are moments of truth for online retailers. They offer the chance to reap the benefits of preparation, earn profits, reward loyal customers, and win new ones.

The last thing a retailer can afford is a website problem at one of these critical moments. Fast loading websites during peak holiday shopping traffic, and even during routine high-traffic periods throughout the year, encourage shoppers to journey all the way to checkout. When shoppers can focus on shopping — not website performance — that’s a good thing.

Security poses another threat to both website availability and customer loyalty. High-traffic sites are attractive targets for distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks, for example, which can bring sites down at the worst possible moment. Large e-commerce sites house millions of records and valuable customer data that, if compromised, could permanently damage a retailer’s reputation.

Verizon Digital Media Services, an end-to-end content delivery platform provider, understands the value of websites that just work. And Deep Trikannad, Product Marketing for Verizon Digital Media Services, explains how his company fits into a lean e-commerce business model. In addition to a suite of services for managing the delivery of streaming video to worldwide audiences, Verizon Digital Media Services offers the Edgecast Content Delivery Network (CDN), an all-in-one platform for optimizing web content delivery and security.

Edgecast CDN helps retailers present a speedy, seamless, and secure digital experience to meet the expectations of today’s shoppers — no matter where they are or what device they’re on. It enables retailers to redirect resources spent on IT infrastructure and workflow challenges and zero in on digital strategy and business integration.

“We’re seeing IT and marketing departments work closer together to develop the best online experiences for their consumers,” Deep said. “We provide purpose-built web acceleration and security that these online retailers need, so that they can focus on creating the best experience for their customers.”

How Edgecast Delivers Better Performance at Peak Traffic Times

CDNs are not new, but Verizon Digital Media Services has pioneered changes in the way they work. A modern architecture and improved caching technology result in a network better able to meet the peak demands of the web today.

Early CDNs operated in a low-bandwidth, uniform-content environment where interconnections among internet service providers (ISPs) were limited. The typical CDN topology was therefore highly distributed, meaning it used a large number of servers and nodes — known as “points of presence,” or PoPs — to position final delivery of content to the end user in the closest possible geographical proximity: on the “edge.”

Photo of Deep Trikannad, Head of Product Marketing at Verizon Digital Media Services

Deep Trikannad, Product Marketing for Verizon Digital Media Services, spoke with us about the importance of a fast, reliable CDN.

The current web’s much higher bandwidth transmits personalized, non-uniform content over a highly interconnected and cooperative network of carriers and ISPs. That means today’s environment makes tens of thousands of small PoPs operated by legacy CDNs expensive to maintain and exposes them to traffic spikes that can quickly overwhelm them.

In response, Edgecast CDN deploys “Super PoPs” with massive computing power and high-bandwidth capacity at dense internet exchange points, each serving a critical geographic region. Instead of thousands of small PoPs, Verizon Digital Media Services currently connects about a hundred Super PoPs to internet peering and routing partners.

Within each Super PoP, however, are hundreds of servers that work together using patented software to store, or cache, the data objects requested by users only once. This strategy results in a larger usable cache given the available storage, significantly improved cache-hit ratios (meaning fewer data requests sent back to the website’s origin server), and higher performance.

Because the Super PoPs concentrate massive computing capacity and bandwidth in this way, they can handle enormous traffic spikes without performance degradation.

Security, Support & Control Help Increase Enterprise ROI

Deep said the challenges of optimizing and protecting websites in today’s dynamic environment of sophisticated security threats make working with the scalable Edgecast CDN an attractive option. More than 10,000 brands currently partner with Verizon Digital Media Services.

“Our network is designed to accelerate web content to slower mobile devices,” Deep said. “And we’re seeing our customers focusing more on web security than ever before. With our Edgecast CDN, our customers are able to deliver a highly secure experience at global scale without compromising performance.”

Legacy CDNs tend to respond sluggishly to security incidents, and mitigation tends to depend on the CDN’s level of support. A slow response can negatively impact a business and risk compromising sensitive information.

Edgecast CDN security services include a Web Application Firewall to block malicious application-level requests, an array of protections against DDoS and domain name system attacks, and standards-based public-key cryptography.

Graphic of Verizon Digital Media Services' CDN security

Verizon Digital Media Services offers comprehensive CDN security that protects businesses from malicious attacks.

Savings come from Verizon Digital Media Services’ always-on Network Operations Center, which addresses issues proactively, tracking origin servers for errors and reporting findings back to Verizon and its customers. Support engineers are always ready to tackle threats as they arise without the support ticket delays often associated with legacy CDNs. Users also have access to professional consultation through the dedicated Technical Account Management team.

Verizon Digital Management Services offers a Media Control Center to give enterprises granular control over all Edgecast CDN components without having to rely on service consultations. Deep said that the hardware efficiencies inherent in the Edgecast CDN’s Super PoP architecture, combined with reduced support costs, result in Verizon Digital Media Services customers reporting significant savings upon migrating from legacy CDNs.

An Optimized Network for E-Commerce Applications

Consumers want a fast online shopping experience they never have to think about — even during peak-traffic times when networks are strained for bandwidth. Verizon Digital Media Services has the infrastructure and solutions to help e-commerce retailers not only keep up with consumers but also seamlessly enhance their experiences.

With its Commerce Acceleration Solution, Verizon Digital Media Services offers retailers an enhanced CDN package designed to meet their specialized needs. Dynamic content acceleration not only speeds up personalized content, like videos, but also non-cacheable content, like checkout transactions, to create a seamless shopping experience.

“These are the applications that require speedy round-trip communication between the user and the company’s servers,” Deep said.

The network also complies with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS), a set of security standards for accepting, processing, storing and transmitting credit card information securely.

Furthermore, accurate device detection based on over 45,000 device profiles enables retailers to deliver high-performing shopping experiences on any device. And, by using geographic data that detects a customer’s location, retailers provide online consumers with personalized shopping experiences.

“Our web performance and security suite offers more reliability, flexibility, and agility, combined with better performance when compared to other providers,” Deep said. “Which is why we have earned the business of leading Fortune 500 retailers.”

Sean Garrity

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