Google Cloud launches Media CDN based on YouTube’s network

With the Media CDN platform for the media sector, Google Cloud combines YouTube’s global network infrastructure with content analysis and enhancement tools to speed up and streamline video streams.

More and more cloud providers are verticalizing their offers by targeting specific sectors. This is the case of Google Cloud, which has just launched Media CDN for television channels and streaming specialists. The American operator already has a CDN (Content Delivery Network) offer for all of its customers based on 130 points of presence. Through them, it improves the performance and availability of web services.

The Media CDN solution borrows both from the infrastructure dedicated to Google Cloud CDN, but also from that used by the YouTube streaming service (owned by Google). On the network protocol part, Media CDN supports QUIC (HTTP/3), TLS 1.3 and BBR. Google points out that its offer addresses viewers in 1,300 cities in 200 countries.

Automation and monitoring tools

Media CDN customers will have access to a suite of APIs and automation tools (cache, routing, and security), while pre-packaged metrics give them the ability to monitor performance across the entire infrastructure. The platform also offers integrations with data analysis tools like Grafana and Elasticsearch. Google Cloud is also considering content enhancement by supporting personalized advertising insertion (via the Video Stitcher API) and the integration of the partner ecosystem.

This announcement was well received by analysts. Ghassan Abdo, IDC research vice president for telecommunications, virtualization and CDN, hails “the powerful combination of a global solution, based on an API first architecture and integrating the operational tools of Google Cloud”. He adds that Media CDN is “a disruptive initiative that is part of the evolution of the CDN market”. In this market, competition is strong with players like Microsoft, Amazon Web Service, Fastly, Akamai, Cloudflare, but none can claim to have the same capacity as YouTube’s network infrastructure. According to a report by The Global Internet Phenomena Report, video streaming accounted for 53.7% of all bandwidth traffic in the first half of 2021.

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