Limelight Networks and Qwilt Partner To Bring Caching Inside ISP Networks
This week Limelight Networks and Qwilt announced they are working together to provide an integrated caching solution for content delivery that will combine Limelight’s global network of more than 80 PoPs and 25+ terabits per second of egress capacity with Qwilt’s open caching inside ISP networks. Through this integration of their respective infrastructure, the two companies are able to deliver a solution that provides fast local, regional, and global caching and delivery.
The new layer of content caching improves the efficiency of content delivery because Qwilt caches, deployed deep within operator networks, are available to fill requests at the network edge without needing to traverse the public internet. For content that is not available in the local ISP’s Qwilt caches, Limelight says their global CDN provides a greater than 98% industry-leading cache-hit efficiency to deliver the highest QoE.
The announcement is a logical outcome of industry collaboration that has been underway in the Streaming Video Alliance where both Limelight and Qwilt are Founding Members and hold seats on the Board of Directors. Additionally, Qwilt currently chairs the Open Caching Working Group, one of many Alliance Working Groups focused on best practices for the streaming industry. Evidence of their progress can be found in the approved and published technical specifications for Open Caching (https://www.streamingvideoalliance.org/technical-work/working-groups/open-caching/) which have been issued at a steady pace over the last two years.
In January of this year, Limelight and Qwilt were part of an Alliance Proof of Concept (PoC) for Open Caching. Other Alliance members included in the PoC announcement included Charter Communications, MLB Advanced Media, Verizon, Viacom, Viasat and Yahoo.
Last week Limelight released its earnings for the third quarter of 2017. Limelight reported record revenues of $46.1M, the highest in 19 quarters, and gross margins of 48.4%, the highest in company history. The progression in Limelight profitability over the last few years relates to the integration announcement with Qwilt as it points to a theme of Limelight pursuing various initiatives, including partnerships to leverage service provider infrastructure.
The news from Limelight and Qwilt is meaningful as it marks the first public announcement of an operational integration between a commercial CDN and open caching systems deployed in last mile networks. From my perspective, the growing maturity of open caching is further evidence of industry progress to address the reach, scale and quality needed to support the continued growth of streaming video. Given the broad membership in the Streaming Video Alliance, including several commercial CDNs, I expect we’ll see more announcements like this one in the future.