Chris Patterson, VP-Product Management, NaviSite
Rendezvous of Big Data and CDN
In the past, CDNs have proven to be somewhat of a challenge for data analysis as they often produce an immense amount of data. The latest developments in big data, however, have directly addressed the issue of data volume and can now enable the gathering and analysis of data from diverse CDN channels. In doing so, CDNs are freed-up to operate at an optimal level and organizations can reap insights gleaned from the mass amounts of data their networks produce daily.
Emphasizing on Antivirus Protection
When security measures are properly integrated, CDNs are a secure IT solution that can aggregate information from various sources efficiently and securely. To deploy a secure IT architecture, organizations should consider three layers of technology: the network, server applications and the host.
In the network layer, organizations must have firewalls and access control lists, as well as intrusion detection. Additionally, the security architecture should include deep packet forensics, net flow analysis, network access controls, DDoS and scanners. In the server/app layer, the focus should be on identifying vulnerabilities, log management, AV, patch management, mail/web filters, scanners and backup. Log management platforms, for example, are very important because—beyond compliance—they enable the identification of network anomalies.
Lastly, and most importantly with regard to CDNs, is that the emphasis in the host layer should be on antivirus protection, encryption, GPG/PGP (encryption protocols for email), File Integrity Management (FIM), antimalware and central storage. A proprietary FIM, for example, will guide users through a malware identification process. Once the threat is identified, FIM performs expert system analysis before forwarding it to a certified analyst, who determines if the threat is legitimate or a false positive. Any legitimate incident is then escalated and can help mitigate any current or potential security risks.
In addition to these safeguards, organizations should also use security policies, such as standards around Bring Your-Own-Device (BYOD) practices in the workplace.
The Role of CDNs in Supporting IoT
With Gartner forecasting that connected devices—excluding PCs, tablets and smartphone—will grow to 26 billion units in 2020; enterprises need a strong foundation to support the growing trend of IoT and the volume of data these devices will produce.
CDNs play a critical role in supporting IoT and big data deployments and can allow enterprises to capitalize on market demand for connected devices. CDNs can provide accelerated access to important content streams such as web pages, video channels and more. The emergence of IoT will provide further impetus for organizations to leverage CDNs to ensure optimal availability both within an organization and for end-users.
“Advancements in cloud computing have had an immense impact on CDN in recent years”
Delivering Updated Content in Real-Time
Advancements in cloud computing have had an immense impact on CDN in recent years. By partnering with a cloud provider to support CDN, businesses can further build upon their ability to provide the most updated versions of content, in real-time, across an array of devices. This is becoming increasingly important with the rise of the mobile workforce and demands for BYOD models within organizations of all sizes. By hosting CDN in the cloud, users can experience continued, reliable accessibility to business critical content regardless of geographic location.
Additionally, there is a strong move toward providing video streams for corporate events, end-user support content, and simple entertainment purposes. By hosting this video content on purpose built CDN platforms, marketing groups can get the high-value content they need, where they need it, with minimal effort.
Capitalizing on the Latest Technologies
Innovations in today’s technology landscape, such as advancements in CDNs, offer tremendous opportunity for IT organizations. While seemingly overwhelming, new technology solutions can offer immense benefits and generate business growth opportunities. A well implemented IT model frees up IT staff from the daily tasks that previously exhausted full teams of personnel.
With this in mind, IT leaders must ensure their teams have the right skills to pivot from “chasing blinking lights” and maintaining IT to owning business growth objectives. CIOs must ensure IT staff has an appreciation and understanding of the core business and its challenges. With the rapid pace of innovation cycles today, IT personnel must adapt quickly. Investing in training will enable them to keep up with the latest technology wave. Lastly, it is important for IT leaders to encourage their teams to regularly communicate with different business units, as well as with each other, to leverage the collective experience of the department.
Transitioning from legacy IT to more advanced solutions can allow IT teams to dedicate more time to developing new technologies that will improve the company’s core product and customer service. Be prepared to guide your team through this change.
The one certainty when it comes to predicting technologies is that there will be more of them. The Internet of Things will require more content to be delivered to individual devices. “Cord cutters” will stream more and more videos to smart devices. Consumer and enterprise applications will keep shifting from shrink-wrapped software to SaaS models. In all of these scenarios, the underlying requirement for bandwidth across which to send the content will outpace the ability for network providers to easily meet those needs. CDN will continue to keep bandwidth in check by distributing the content as close to the users as possible ahead of time and will empower the next wave of innovation.