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GigaOm Radar for Content Delivery Networks (CDNs)v2.0

Table of Contents

  1. Executive Summary
  2. Market Segment and Geographical Distribution
  3. Decision Criteria Comparison
  4. GigaOm Radar
  5. Solution Insights
  6. Analyst’s Outlook
  7. About Andrew Green

1. Executive Summary

The content delivery market has many participants. Most of these are purpose-built content delivery networks (CDNs), but a large portion of players, including cloud providers and telecommunications companies, are leveraging their distributed infrastructure to enter the market. While many CDNs featured in this report are evolving their offerings into edge platforms, some purpose-built edge platforms are also notable players in the content delivery space.

The key criteria on which we evaluate vendors paint a high-level picture of the use cases these vendors support. Depending on their vertical, enterprise IT buyers have different needs that must be met by CDNs. For example, a media company is generally interested in a CDN’s capability to deliver streaming video. Within this vertical, streaming services may need to use only on-demand video streaming of stored content, while broadcasters of live events need deep live video streaming features.

At the same time, an e-commerce company would require dynamic content delivery optimization that can compress, resize, and crop thousands of product images based on the end user’s device type. Storage features are a must-have for businesses that need to deliver large files and for use cases such as software updates, for which caching is not sufficient.

While the key criteria mentioned above serve some verticals more than others, the rest permeate all industries and involve the ways a solution is managed and secured. Security for content delivery must encompass two main areas: network security and content security. Network security—between Layers 2 and 4—is a table stake and addressed by the provider with no involvement from the customer. Content security—Layer 7—includes modules such as web application firewalls (WAFs) and provides customers with a management plane so they can determine how to filter traffic and respond to anomalies.

Content management and programming, traffic optimization, and analytics are also vertical-agnostic features and offer enterprises the ability to deliver their content, regardless of what it is, in a more efficient manner.

This is our second year evaluating the CDN space in the context of our Key Criteria and Radar reports. This report builds on our previous analysis and considers how the market has evolved over the last year.

This GigaOm Radar report examines 19 of the top CDN solutions in the market and compares offerings against the capabilities (table stakes, key features, and emerging features) and non-functional requirements (business criteria) outlined in the companion Key Criteria report. Together, these reports provide an overview of the category and its underlying technology, identify leading CDN offerings, and help decision-makers evaluate these solutions so they can make a more informed investment decision.


The GigaOm Key Criteria report provides a detailed decision framework for IT and executive leadership assessing enterprise technologies. Each report defines relevant functional and non-functional aspects of solutions in a sector. The Key Criteria report informs the GigaOm Radar report, which provides a forward-looking assessment of vendor solutions in the sector.