Do You Have a CDN in Your Future?

By Cameron Sturdevant  |  Posted 2001-12-31 Print this article Print

If taking potshots at enterprise CDNs seems like shooting fish in a barrel during these tough economic times, consider the nutritional value of the dead fish.

If taking potshots at enterprise CDNs seems like shooting fish in a barrel during these tough economic times, consider the nutritional value of the dead fish.

Content delivery networks inside an organizations firewall may not be ready for prime time, but in the not-too-distant future, they will likely provide the productivity increase and corresponding improved competitiveness that senior managers crave. IT can play a role in significantly improving network performance by looking at ways to facilitate e-learning and streaming rich media services inside the firewall.

At the Content Networking Event, held in San Jose, Calif., in December (, outsourcers and content network vendors showed a variety of wares, many of which touted improvements in performance, both for Web servers and for servers tagged internal use.

Based on the products I saw, from companies such as Venation and Ejasent, IT managers have a small but growing array of performance- improving products and services at their disposal. Aside from the question of buy or build, the key point is: Does it improve the bottom line? In most cases, the answer is a qualified yes.

It doesnt take rocket science to figure out the savings of providing sales training over the network. But making sure the corporate IT infrastructure is up to handling this kind of task means implementing management and monitoring packages that improve traditional network services such as e-mail and file transfer.

IT managers should also be thinking about the intricacies of a CDN. For example, can the CDN handle multiple applications, including voice and A/V feeds? Is content authoring easy enough for a layperson to use? Is the right amount of storage and intelligent routing in place to make sure information gets where it needs to go?

CDNs gestational period is turning out to be more like an elephants (years) than like a rabbits (days). Even so, now is the time for managers to decide to lay the necessary IT groundwork that will ensure that user productivity and business objectives differentiate the company in tough times.

Senior Analyst Cameron Sturdevant can be contacted at

Cameron Sturdevant Cameron Sturdevant is the executive editor of Enterprise Networking Planet. Prior to ENP, Cameron was technical analyst at PCWeek Labs, starting in 1997. Cameron finished up as the eWEEK Labs Technical Director in 2012. Before his extensive labs tenure Cameron paid his IT dues working in technical support and sales engineering at a software publishing firm . Cameron also spent two years with a database development firm, integrating applications with mainframe legacy programs. Cameron's areas of expertise include virtual and physical IT infrastructure, cloud computing, enterprise networking and mobility. In addition to reviews, Cameron has covered monolithic enterprise management systems throughout their lifecycles, providing the eWEEK reader with all-important history and context. Cameron takes special care in cultivating his IT manager contacts, to ensure that his analysis is grounded in real-world concern. Follow Cameron on Twitter at csturdevant, or reach him by email at

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