Putting the Nail in the Coffin of Doubt (re: Transparent Caching)

“Some of us in the industry always had some form of doubt about the transparent caching platforms.” … so starts a recent post on the Bizety blog.

Analyst and Editor Ernie Regalado questions, “How can an entire CDN infrastructure be packaged in a product, and it work efficiently like a CDN, because there are so many different moving software parts in a CDN platform?”

However, after interviewing PeerApp CTO, Alan Arolovitch, Ernie confirms, “This interview has put the nail in that coffin of doubt, and we are now firm believers in Transparent Caching solutions.”

Here are a few key points from that interview that discuss the evolution of caching:

  • What people don’t appreciate about transparent caching is what’s involved. Also, the global CDNs generally ‘drop off’ content into the operator’s network. Transparent caching comes into augment the operator’s network and optimize “last mile” delivery. In the last mile you’re dealing with a different situation than a CDN, which in many cases is pre-provisioned with known content.
  • One could look at a CDN as a caching network that has knowledge of the content, the format, and the URLs. Content publishers provision information to the CDN … and loading is to some extent predictable and known.
  • The world of transparent caching deals with content coming down a pipe and has to – in the best way possible – identify popular content across various sources. Where is it coming from? It can come from CDNs, peer-to-peer networks, somebody’s cloud, whatever. And you have to do the best job identifying that and also supporting the business logic involved.
  • Ultimately, CDNs and transparent caching are really different. There is a lot of sophisticated logic in caching somebody else’s content without having any knowledge of it; and the transparency aspects – transparency to user, transparency to the content source, and transparency to the application logic – has a lot of sophistication and differentiation.

Arolovitch summarizes, “PeerApp has been able to do that [caching somebody else’s content] very broadly without needing a lot of customer intervention. We don’t need configuration; we don’t need touch points on the cache to teach it how to do this. We feel that we do this better and more broadly then all of our competitors. … That’s where transparent caching has seen a boost and growth in the business, helping operators deal with somebody else’s content.”

You can also read the full “Interview with Alan Arolovitch, CTO of PeerApp” on Bizety.com.

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