New services and Innovation

Rai Way’s Content Delivery Network

Our carrier broadcasting network is neutral, reliable, and quick.

If content is king...

The Media and Entertainment sector has, over the past few years, undergone a period of radical transformation. The progressive convergence and integration of the media industry with telecommunication networks has led to the birth of a digital and connected ecosystem which is evolving alongside users’ consumer habits.

Content has taken an undoubtedly prominent position within this ecosystem. Allowing for great cultural expression, and a powerful sharing tool for values and emotions, content is the most important way of interacting with an audience, establishing connections which are not only digital.

...then network is Queen

Another fundamental element of this digital, hyper-connected ecosystem are the IP networks which allow content to travel and create high-quality, engaging online experiences.

These networks have evolved over the years in terms of their performance, speed, and reliability, responding to the increased complexity of supplied content and the increased volume of internet traffic. They are known as Content Delivery Networks (CDN) and form the invisible backbone of the internet.

Rai Way’s Future CDN

As the leaders in communications infrastructure, we are developing a content distribution network for content specific to the Italian market, and to the needs of the users and content providers within it.

A neutral carrier with the greatest number of PoP in the country – compared to global CDNs who also operate in Italy – our CDN network will guarantee proximity to end-users and improved performance.

One main data centre will house the HW/SW systems for content reception activities (ingestion), integration with third-party systems (encryption platforms, web portals for content publication, origin servers, apps for end devices) and for the real-time configuration and monitoring of CDNs and live services/VoD streaming (management systems).

On the outskirts of these networks, our peripheral sites (Edge Data Centre) are connected to our main Data Centre through an owned IP and fibre optic network. These will host cache servers for the regional distribution of content to end-users.

This interconnection with ISP (Internet Service Provider) networks through peering or internet transit connections will allow content to be delivered to the end-users present within the networks of operators. With the application of Firewall/Security Gateway, AAA, Log/Siem and SOC (Security Operations Centre) monitoring systems, we guarantee the security of the CDN in terms of IT threats.

Quality of experience

Through the interconnection of Rai Way’s CDN with ISP networks and the widespread distribution of caches in Rai Way’s peripheral sites, we guarantee a heightened Quality of Experience (QoE) to users, independent from the ISP network they’re connected to (neutral carrier).

A ‘Global’ CDN

The proximity of our CDN cache servers to end-users, and the adoption of increasingly innovative streaming technology, will allow us to reduce latency and more efficiently support video services with an elevated bit rate (e.g., HD, 4K) when compared to the “Global CDN” present in many countries. These networks boast a large number of total servers, but with fewer large-scale PoP across Italy.

Internet Traffic Optimisation

The widespread nature of our CDN will contribute to the decongestion of the backbone ISP networks, whilst controlling and optimising traffic entering into the networks of operators. Content Providers will also benefit from this, who usually, at peak traffic times – which are recorded during the evening hours or during live, high-interest events – see the quality of their video streaming begin to diminish (freezing, rebuffering, pixelation, etc.)

Want to find out more? Get in touch with our experts!

What is a CDN?

Latency measures the speed at which a system responds; the higher the latency, the more time will be required to access the requested content. We experience latency times every time we wait for a video to download when streaming, for example. One of the factors which negatively impacts latency time is the physical distance between the user requesting the content and the central server which hosts it. A CDN, however, allows users to connect to a server located physically closer to them, therefore reducing latency times. A Content Delivery Network consists of a group of servers distributed across a range of geographical areas, which aims to speed up the distribution of content, providing that content to users.

These networks were created to resolve the issue of congestion in content distribution networks from central servers to single users; a problem which also causes an increased content download time, thus worsening the online user experience.

A CDN, through caching, memorises the content on the edge of the network, reducing the distance between users and site resources. This leads to quicker download times and an improved navigation experience.

The advantages of CDN