Fastly, the San Francisco-based edge cloud platform, announced today their new Media Shield, which optimizes live-streaming and on-demand video by leveraging a website’s CDN providers with its central cloud. The technology essentially funnels traffic coming from a variety of different CDNs and routes it to a single origin point. This makes it easier and faster for requests to return to the user, and speeds up video and streaming processes. On the business side, this optimization can save a company money. On the user side, it can deliver higher quality streaming and video feeds and at faster speeds.
The Media Shield acts as a sort of middleman that cuts out all the middlemen. By reducing the amount of traffic coming in and out of a network’s origin point, the Media Shield also reduces the amount of processing power that the network infrastructure has to waste on redundant or random requests. Only essential and real requests, all coming from different CDNs, are actually processed and returned to the user.
The Media Shield is also a tool that companies can use outside the actual Fastly network. Now, the Media Shield is essentially its own service that does the same kind of routing optimization, but from a client’s own given network. Companies can use their existing CDNs—and all of the infrastructure and protocols they have built around it—and can insert the Media Shield into the system with minimal changes.
The cost reduction feature of the Media Shield will likely tempt buyers the most. The Media Shield’s Request Collapsing feature lumps multiple requests for the same content into a single request, eliminating redundancy. Fastly estimates that the Collapsing feature could reduce requests by several orders of magnitude and helps save on network egress costs.
The Origin Shielding feature is also helpful. It lets you choose a public or managed Fastly POP as your given Media Shield in front of your network’s infrastructure. That way, any cache-misses are routed to the Media Shield instead of your network’s origin point. This also cuts cost for infrastructure processing and routing.
Fastly has also made sure to design Media Shield so it can be integrated into a variety of unique networks. The Media Shield’s load balancing techniques allow engineers to insert and build Media Shields into their networks how they see fit.
Fastly has made some huge deals with major broadcasters in recent years, including A+E Networks (which runs A&E, History, Lifetime, FYI, Viceland, and others) Dish Network, Vimeo, and Brightcove using its edge cloud platform.