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Why R&E Networks Should Be Aware of the CDN Interconnect Initiative (CDNI)

At the recent IETF meeting there has been considerable discussion about interconnection of Content Delivery Networks.

A lot of this is being driven unfortunately by the incumbent telco/cableco's who never understood CDN in the first place, and now want to assert control over this critical new Internet architecture, much in the same way that they want to take control over open WiFi hot spots as part of an integration strategy with their 3G/4G networks.

R&E networks are the only independent organizations that have the knowledge and independence that can develop alternate strategies that don't assume a "telco/cable uber alles" strategy. A good example is the Eduroam program which is now being used to seamlessly integrate WiFi with 3G/4G on networks like SURFnet, JANET, AARnet etc.

CDNI will be critical to a future anywhere, anyplace, anytime education and research strategy. It will also be critical to those R&E networks that operate transit or internet exchange points for community or anchor institution networks. Most R&E networks have come to realize that CDN and peering is critical to their core business functions. On some networks over 90% of the traffic is CDN and peering. It enables most R&E networks to become self sufficient and yet provide a much lower cost value proposition to their connected institutions, eliminating the dollars per Megabyte mindset of the incumbents.

For more information on this topic see:
A personal perspective on the evolving Internet and Research and Education Networks
OECD report: Internet Traffic Exchange Points
Content Distribution Network Interconnection (CDNI) Problem Statement

By Bill St. Arnaud , Green IT Networking Consultant

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