Boosting video capabilities with industry-leading integrated CDN

Wang Jindong / ZTE
04 Jul 2017

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Global telecom operators are facing revenue structure adjustment. While traditional services such as voice and SMS are declining, the data service is becoming an important engine to drive operators’ revenue increase, accounting for a growing part of the overall revenue. The massive increase of Internet-based contents not only leads to explosive growth of data traffic, but also forces operators into the role of pipe. How to explore more pipe value becomes the top priority for operators. ZTE integrated content distribution network (iCDN) solution makes use of the hierarchical transmission capability of the bearer network and provides differentiated content distribution to guarantee user experience and accelerate video services.

ZTE's iCDN solution provides one-stop service, including full-capability service, full-network service, and full-operation service, to enhance pipe capabilities and increase network value.

  • Full-capability service: A single iCDN system offers the video service, file acceleration service, and capability leasing.
  • Full-network service: Based on the operator’s tiered network deployment, the solution gradually integrates current chimney CDN & Cache nodes and expands the CDN to the mobile edge network to deploy edge nodes on the wireless RAN and in households.
  • Full-operation service: The CDN features user and service perception and big data analysis. The operation team can perform elaborate operation according to market demands and provide personalized services for users, creating conditions for future operation transformation.

According to the report of SNL, a leading global third-party consulting company, ZTE’s iCDN system globally ranks top 1 in market share. ZTE continues innovations in the iCDN solution, and possesses more than 100 technical patents, three of which won the ‘National Outstanding Innovation’ award consecutively.

  • ZTE achieves the hierarchical and segmented caching technology to increase the hit rate. The system automatically stores contents on different storage media based on content popularity and storage media performance. The file segment distribution function reduces the distribution response time and increases storage utilization. The predicted correlation + dynamic distribution level adjustment can help find out the optimal distribution policies to improve the hit rate.
  • The iCDN supports aggregation of small files to improve storage and distribution efficiency. Small content segments are aggregated into large segments for storage to optimize the storage access rate and content distribution efficiency, and improve the storage utilization.
  • ZTE has exclusively proposed the quick launch mechanism for live channels. The system uses the memory file system instead of low-performance disks for access to live stream data. When it needs to go to CPs’ original sites for live streams, the plug-ins can help quickly adapt to CP’s media formats.
  • The iCDN solution supports TCP transmission optimization to improve bandwidth utilization. Using the Westwood algorithm, the system can identify slow-start threshold and congestion window size by estimating effective bandwidth at the time of network congestion. In this way, it can avoid the impact of random packet loss on bandwidth utilization, without needing intermediate network devices.
  • The iCDN solution supports intelligent load scheduling to reduce transmission load and improve efficiency. The intelligent capability scheduling control mechanism can increase working efficiency through load scheduling between busy and idle nodes and CPU/disk sleeping to save bandwidth and reduce power consumption.

The ZTE iCDN solution provides a complete QoS assurance system. The system can customize a full-service quality evaluation system, which uses a three-level modeling scheme (customer perception, service quality, basic network and service data). It supports flexible modeling of any service measurement index framework, and gives overall evaluation of Quality of Experience (QoE). The evaluation results are used as input for decision-making and KPI optimization. Closed-loop QoE evaluation is realized.

The system provides an active security and defense mechanism:

  • Host and network security: compliance, account, process, security audit, anti-DDoS...
  • Service security: anti-tampering, anti-malicious code (Web attack), and sensitive word filtering...
  • Regular security operation: periodical report of monitoring results
  • Active error location: security audit and correlation analysis

The system includes the Wholesale CDN based on big data and provides flexible storage and bandwidth management, content distribution, service dispatching, and emergent content removal mechanisms to help operators realize flexible operation. The cloud-based CDN also supports complete data analysis and elaborate operation. It enables bandwidth assurance and low-price data traffic for self-operated services, and also allows flexible billing, dynamic analysis of user behaviors, and analysis of network load to dynamically optimize service bandwidth policies.

Since years ago, ZTE’s iCDN products have been deployed in the world and won many innovation awards granted by TVConnect, Global Telecoms Business, and BBWF. By now, ZTE has deployed more than 100 iCDN sites around the world, including 10 each with over 1 million users. The Jiangsu Telecom iCDN is the largest one in the world, providing IPTV/OTT video service for over 6 million users and Internet cache acceleration service for over 14 million fixed and mobile broadband users. ZTE’s iCDN cache systems for China Mobile’s Shanghai backbone node, Guizhou Mobile, and Jilin Mobile have been in operation for over four years.

ZTE’s industry-leading iCDN system will continue helping operators increase pipe value to embrace the coming big video era.

Wang Jindong is iCDN Senior Architect at ZTE Corporation

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