The Intelligent CDN POP

Most POPs that CDNs build out tend to be dummy POP’s. The infrastructure components at the POPs consist of servers loaded with caching software, routers, switches, load balancers (software or hardware), DNS servers, gateways for TCP/IP optimization, logging servers, admin servers, SSL appliances (or in the caching software), business logic edge servers, and so on.

What if the POP could become very intelligent, that is be able to self heal from component failure, repel DDOs attacks even better, act as its own command center-instead of having to rely on a NOC located thousands of miles away, and provide in-depth real time reporting at the POP or regional level. There is a new generation of “in-memory databases” called NewSQL. In the database spectrum, you have SQL servers like Oracle, MySQL & Microsoft on one end, and NoSQL servers like CouchDB on the other end. The in-memory databases sit right in the middle, that are SQL based, but inherit lots of the robust features of the NoSQL type.

The NewSQL databases like NuoDB, VoltDB & MemSQL operate at the RAM level, avoiding disk drives. Facebook and Google are running their own flavors of in-memory databases. Maybe one day, we will see servers that use no drives, no SATA drives & no SSD drives. They will just be loaded with TB’s of RAM, enabling CDNs to become RAM-based CDNs.

One idea for a new POP architecture is to implement a type of NewSQL on all the servers, especially the caching servers. The in-memory database will run alongside the caching software in RAM. The new architecture will be able to make decisions in real time. Also, the logging server, can have its own version, enabling it to provide real time intelligence, on web traffic, DDOS attacks, or other metrics, at the regional level, that never could be possible before.

CDNs will be able to offer this new feature to its customers. It can be called something like regional based Intelligence. The target customer are CMOs & CISO’s. Customers of this feature will be able to see behavioral patterns, instead of seeing just hits, number of live streams, geographical stats, and other static info.