Published on August 31, 2017 (almost 7 years ago)

Real-time CDN switching with Mux and Cedexis

Jon Dahl
By Jon Dahl3 min readProduct

Video publishing sometimes feels like a Rube Goldberg machine. To get a single video to play back successfully, a dozen different systems need to play nicely together: websites, players, browsers, ISPs, CDNs, network operators, cloud providers, encoders, standards bodies, content producers, and more. And underlying a single video delivery are dozens of individual computers, spinning disks, and network links. (Yes, even The Cloud uses computers.)

This is why we're excited to announce that Mux and Cedexis have partnered to offer real-time CDN switching to our customers. Together, we are the first system that can make millisecond-level routing decisions, improving performance and reliability of video delivery for our customers.

CDNs are one of the major systems that affect video Quality of Experience (QoE), alongside encoding systems, player systems, ads, and the actual application where people watch video. But video delivery can be problematic:

  • CDNs have inconsistent geographic performance. A CDN that performs well in one region might not perform well somewhere else.
  • CDNs and ISPs don't always get along (for various reasons).
  • CDNs have outages due to congestion, server failure, and more.
  • Human error can cause traffic to fail completely.

The impact: errors, rebuffering, slow load times, poor video quality, and sometimes even complete outages. This means unhappy users who watch less video and stop trusting a publisher.

Cedexis and Mux fix these problems.

Cedexis tracks the status of Internet delivery through 14 billion real user measurements every day and then routes traffic around congestion and outages. This means more consistent quality and happier viewers, which leads to more video watched.

But while this "map of internet performance" works well at a high level, it doesn't know what is happening with every individual session. This is where Mux fits in. Mux collects, processes, and analyzes streaming video events from the consumer's video player to quickly identify QoE events. Since Mux knows the exact network conditions of an individual viewing session, sending this to Cedexis in real-time allows Cedexis to make even more accurate decisions about routing, leading to even better performance.

You can't effectively run software that you don't monitor, and everyone who manages a video publishing system needs accurate, timely QoS/QoE monitoring like Mux. That's why our pricing scales from low-cost self-signup plans to big enterprise contracts, depending on a customer's size and needs.

It's also time to move past the single-CDN approach. Using multiple CDNs improves performance and reliability, and since it also improves leverage in a CDN price negotiation, it is usually cost-effective.

Today, Cedexis and Mux are the best platform for making this happen. If you want to try it out, get in touch.

Written By

Jon Dahl

Co-founder of Zencoder, acquired by Brightcove, where Jon served as VP Technology. Makes better BBQ than code these days.

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