Google Cloud has launched a new media and content delivery network (CDN) platform called Media CDN that allows large media and streaming customers to tap into Google’s global YouTube network.
The new platform blends the same infrastructure as the Google-owned video streaming service, with Google Cloud’s existing Cloud CDN portfolio. Customers will have access to a range of APIs and automation tools, while pre-aggregated metrics and playback tracing will allow users to monitor performance across the entire infrastructure stack. The platform also offers integrations with Google Cloud’s operations suite and other observability tools such as Grafana and ElasticSearch.
Media CDN also supports the creation of more interactive experiences, such as custom ad insertions, ecosystem integrations, and platform extensibility. For example, streaming providers can use the Video Stitcher API to improve monetization through integrated ad serving.
According to The Global Internet Phenomena Report from January 2022, video streaming accounted for 53.7% of all bandwidth traffic in the first half of 2021. To combat this strain on existing infrastructure, performance and capacity stress can be alleviated through multiple tiers of caching in order to minimize calls back to origin. These features are built into the Google product and support customer content hosted either on Google Cloud, on-premises, or via a third-party cloud, such as Microsoft Azure or Amazon Web Services.
Media CDN also adapts delivery protocols to individual users and network conditions, with the platform offering out-of-the-box support for the modern QUIC (HTTP/3), TLS 1.3, and BBR transport standards. According to Google, Media CDN has the ability to reach viewers in more than 1,300 cities across 200 countries.
While alternative CDN vendors like Microsoft, Amazon Web Service, Fastly and Cloudflare all offer their own CDN services, none can claim the power of the YouTube network backing their services.
Ghassan Abdo, IDC research vice president for telecom, virtualization, and CDN, said that on first glance, Google Cloud’s Media CDN looks like a powerful combination of geographic reach, an API-first architecture, and integration with the existing Google Cloud operations suite. “This is a transformative move that is aligned with the future of the CDN industry,” he said.