Netflix leverages the power of connectivity to bring 3D/Super HD to its customers

Photo courtesy of Xenmate

In June of last year, Netflix announced a new strategy called Open Connect, which detailed the company’s thoughts and designs for a new cost-effective, Do-It-Yourself content distribution system. As the largest provider of streaming content in the United States, Netflix is continuously pushing the envelope when it comes to bringing higher quality TV shows and movies to a broader audience, while also reducing cost.

Equinix is pleased to have assisted Netflix in deploying its cutting-edge content delivery solution, and is impressed by how Netflix has shared its hardware design and the open source software components of the CDN server to the Internet community.

At CES in January, Netflix announced that it would begin offering Super HD (1080p) and 3D content for customers of Open Connect ISPs. Super HD and 3D, which can represent a 2-4X increase in bandwidth requirements, leverage the enhanced connectivity and caching technologies made possible by Open Connect.

In addition to providing a higher quality experience for Netflix customers, the announcement also validates the success-and competitive advantage-of building and scaling a “private” CDN using Equinix’s carrier-neutral International Business Exchange (IBX®) data centers. It also shows that for companies that need to provide large volumes of data to customers in a systematic and repeatable fashion, they may want to consider building their own CDN.

A customer-owned or private CDN solution can help companies better manage cost and control, of their streaming media strategy by:
• Enabling a choice of distribution models to meet different network conditions
• Leveraging peering and cache nodes to scale cost-effectively
• Gain visibility into cache and network details to reduce customer issues, and resolve impact in a more timely fashion
• Gain a market advantage over competitors who are stuck on third-party distribution platforms

The steps involved in building a private CDN include:
• Establish a baseline of required service – how many streams, size of the streams, and where those requests originate (both location and carrier)
• Choose a carrier-dense environment (such as an Equinix IBX) that is near relevant population densities, and well-connected to the networks that receive the content. The environment should also have a high level of physical security (cameras, biometric security controls, multiple access restrictions) to maintain the security of the intellectual property on the content distribution platform, and the necessary support structure to remain online during unexpected events (power outages, weather, etc)
• Establish direct connection, access, and peering (see the Equinix Internet Exchange for more information) agreements with the relevant network carriers
• Define the hardware and software specifications necessary to meet current content distribution baselines, plus scale to meet the anticipated growth of that deployment cycle
• Deploy, test, and adjust the content distribution model to meet your goals

When deciding on a global content delivery partner, you may wish to consider that Equinix offers:
• 95+ highly secure and highly reliable data centers in 31 strategic markets on five continents
• 900+ network providers to help optimize performance and find the best solution
• 475+ content providers to directly connect to for partnerships and business opportunity, including the top social media and ad networks
• 1.93 Tbps of traffic in the world’s largest Internet Exchange, offering peering in the Americas, Europe and Asia-Pacific
• Support from the most experienced and dedicated professional services teams in the industry

If you’d like more information, please contact Equinix’s Content & Digital Media team at

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