Here’s What The Current CDN Landscape Looks Like, With List Of Vendors

With Verizon’s plans to acquire CDN provider EdgeCast, it’s a good time for me to update my list of vendors in the CDN ecosystem. (www.cdnlist.com) The term “CDN” is very generic these days and there are vendors that focus on specific types of content delivery like video streaming or application acceleration and some that focus on a specific vertical like gaming. You also have vendors that don’t fall under the traditional CDN term, for services like web optimization, licensed/managed CDN or services to measure CDN performance, shape traffic amongst multiple CDNs and offer analytics and cloud intelligence. It’s a complex ecosystem, so I highlighted the vendors I track from all the different segments of the content delivery market. Vendors for some services like security and WAN optimization, which sometimes fall under the CDN umbrella are not listed. I also noted which ones aren’t traditional CDN delivery networks.

For those interested in the streaming market, and the vendors that specialize in video, of all the vendors listed below, seven of them (Akamai, Amazon, EdgeCast, Highwinds, Level 3, Limelight Networks and Microsoft) control the vast majority of all video delivered over the Internet, sold as a service. Google, Netflix and Microsoft deliver a lot of video themselves, via their own CDNs or via network operators, but they are not included on my list as they don’t sell content delivery services. If you want to be added to any of these lists, see the bottom of the post for instructions.

Vendors In The CDN Ecosystem

We hear a lot about telcos and carriers in the CDN market, but the vast majority of them have built out CDNs for their own internal use and are not selling it as a commercial CDN service. So it’s not accurate to say they compete with traditional service based CDNs. There are a few exceptions like Level 3, Verizon and Tata who offer commercial CDN services, but most telco and carrier based commercial CDN services are based off of reselling a traditional CDN, for example AT&T reselling Akamai. This telco/carrier list is far from being complete and many more still need to be added.

Telco/Carrier Based CDN Deployments

In addition to the current crop of vendors in the market, I think it’s important to remember how the CDN industry got to where it is today. Many CDNs raised tons of money but didn’t have a business model, some only focused on selling at the lowest price and many had technology that simply didn’t work. Lots on CDNs went under, some within a short time of launching. The CDN market has been through a lot of hard times over the past seventeen years and here’s a running list of those who got acquired or went under.

CDN Related Vendor Acquisitions/Closures

Each time I make a list of vendors, for any solution or service in the market, I always get emails from tons of companies asking why they are not on the list. If you think you should be added to the list, please add it to the comments section but note that I am not listing regional CDNs, hosting providers who offer delivery or companies who get most of their sales from $100 a month customers. Also, just because you may have the word CDN in your name, does not make you one, in the eyes of the market. Also, just because you are not on this list doesn’t mean you don’t have a valid solution in the market, but the companies listed are the ones I get asked about, get mentioned in the media, are included in major RFPs and promote and market their services to medium and large customers.

  • RIck

    Great list. As someone who has been around it is interesting to reflect back on the history of CDN and how much effort and money has gone into developing the industry.

    Here are a few CDNs that didn’t make the acquired/closed list but should be considered for sake of posterity:

    IBeam Broadcasting: publicly traded, acquired by Williams 2001
    Aerocast: private, acquired by Motorola and discontinued operations
    Axient Communications: bankruptcy 2001, management went on to found Limelight Networks
    Epic Realm: raised $75m, bankruptcy in 2001. Currently operating as patent assertion entity Parallel Networks

    As a footnote,we have the P2P CDN vendors that didn’t take a lot of market share but helped to compress pricing in the market which has its own place in the history of CDN.

    I remember when Edgecast started it was a vet tough time for CDN (isn’t it always?) I didn’t give them much of a chance at the time but they surprised with excellent execution. They deserve all of their success.

    • danrayburn

      Hi Rick, Ibeam is already on the list. Aerocast is a good one, I will have to add that. Axient was a network provider, but not a CDN and had no CDN offering, hence why they aren’t on the list. Epic Realm did work with websites in the late 90′s, but it was more of a software play if I remember corrrectly, not a CDN.

  • John
  • Pat

    Dan,

    Oh the memories you list invokes. I’m surprised you haven’t added Fastly yet.

    • danrayburn

      Thanks for catching that. I knew I forgot a few. I have added them to the list.

  • Pooran

    Dan,
    Thanks for the list.

    I am surprised that you put “Tata Communications” in the list of the Telco’s CDN which are primarily using CDN for transparent caching .

    Tata Communications is into commercial CDN space as much as Level 3 , so would be great if you can move Tata Communications to the CDN Ecosystem list .
    Thanks again for the list, its very helpful.

    • danrayburn

      Hi Pooran, Tata is more of a regional CDN and would fall under the telco list. They do not compete with Level 3, Akamai and other other major CDNs for large scale video delivery, on a global basis. I know they have some customers, but I could not name a single one by name, and they never show up in RFPs for mid-tier and large contracts.

      Not sure what you mean when you say “primarily using CDN for transparent caching” as CDN and transparent caching aren’t the same thing.

      • Pooran

        Dan,
        Thanks , really appreciate your quick response .
        Tata is a Gobal Player like any other CDN’s in the first list with focus on both mature and emerging markets. I agree they don’t compete head on with AKM and L3 and participate in bigger RFP’s but so is the case with fastly, NetDNA, Instart Logic and other focused CDN’s which are not targeting the large enterprise segment and Edgecast is a classic example to prove that that there is a segment left by both AKM and Amazon (currently)

        It will not be fair to list Tata in second list where most of the vendors mentioned are either reselling some other CDN or just using it for transparent caching .
        I am just trying to make the data more informative and close to being true.
        Thanks

        • danrayburn

          Yeah, I guess that is true. Most in the second list are reselling. I will edit. Thanks.

          • Pooran

            Thanks again Dan .

  • http://www.MaxCDN.com/ Chris Ueland / MaxCDN

    Thanks for the post, Dan.

  • Jerry

    Cloudflare?

  • John

    http://www.keycdn.com is another one. They offer one global pricing for all regions.

  • Mathias

    Dan,
    What is your definition of “Licensed CDN” ? In opposition with the other CDN as service or with the “Carrier platform” for instance?

    Thanks,

    Mathias