Content Delivery Network, Transparent Internet Caching – Concerns ?

Earlier this week. I blogged on CDN, TIC (transparent internet caching) and how it works. Today I got a chance to attend a workshop on CDN and got to learn a little more details on CDN.  From now on in the rest of the post, I will refer to companies like Akamai who cache the data from content providers as “TIC providers”.

Few points to be noted in addition to what I have already mentioned earlier (The below comment is based on my understanding about CDN  from quick workshop today. Please feel free to correct me by leaving a comment)

– The  TIC Providers aka- companies like Akamai who manage data center throughout the world do not need to have an agreement with the content provider for caching the static content from the providers. Wow ! That’s a big plus for all these content providers like Youtube, Hulu which will be benefited by the caching being done by companies like Akamai without even being paid a penny.

– The content providers if needed can have an agreement to place their own servers in the data center of the TIC providers. The content providers  can negotiate with the TIC and / or service providers to provide preference for the content from the content provider than with the rest of the traffic. They can specify the quality of service parameters as a part of their agreement. But wouldn’t this violate the whole concept of  Net-neutrality where equal preference should be given to traffic for every content provider? This still seems to be an open ended question for the CDN implemention.

– Assume a case where the content provider does not have its own servers in the data center of the “TIC prvovider”. In this case, if a user tries to access a content , the content will be delivered by the cached content from the TIC data center.  ie.. for example – if we try to access a content from say Google, we might end up with being the content delivered from a non-Google server. Should we start talking about security issues here (or) may be not since the data integrity is supposed to be taken care by the “TIC provider”.

– There is a new standard being developed called CDNi (CDN Interconnect) which is a standard whereby different content providers can interact through standard means for delivering the content.


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