Who Is CDNetworks?

Who is this up-and-coming CDN service provider expanding our way from Asia? Here’s what we’ve been able to glean about CDNetworks so far.

Founded in 2000, CDNetworks touts itself as the largest CDN in Asia and the third largest CDN in the world after Akamai and Limelight Networks. Since CDN service providers are often cagey about their numbers, it’s hard to know if this is true, but assuming the numbers CDNetworks gave us are accurate - $60M in annual revenue, 63 points of presence (PoPs), and content pushed out at 400Gbps globally - it certainly is the case that CDNetworks is more than a mere Akamai ankle biter.

CDNetwork’s Chief Strategy Officer Steve Chung told us that the company has grown 30 percent per year since its inception, has been profitable for some time, employs 300 people (200 in Korea and 100 internationally), and has a current market capitalization of $270M. Chung added that although Akamai is “Goliath and we’re not even David yet,” he is confident that CDNetworks will be a strong competitor in the US market. He is quick to point out that, “We are not a loss leader in the market. We’re definitely not the low cost provider, and we don’t have to be.”

Chung sees CDNetwork’s special sauce as its customer service and its standardized processes “optimized for cost, quality and speed.” “We can get a PoP up in a matter of weeks compared to months for others,” he says, “because we’re small and nimble as well as responsive and flexible. We come to our relationships with the attitude of a partner, not just a vendor. We are religious about customer service, and quick to respond to customer requests and to be flexible in all aspects of what we do.” As an example of this flexibility and responsiveness, Chung pointed to the fact that CDNetworks offers hosting and collocation services within CDNetworks’ PoPs - something Chung says other CDN service providers do not offer, but that customers were clamoring for.

Today CDNetworks focuses on business-to-consumer customers delivering content such as streaming media, software downloads (especially of online gaming and anti virus files), flash and other rich media, and IP TV. According to Chung, CDNetworks plans to expand into the business-to-business space with several general purpose application acceleration offerings that are currently in beta, and that will be rolled out within a few months.

When asked about the prospect of patent-related legal action by Akamai, Chung responded: “We have done a full evaluation of Akamai’s patents, and we feel good about what we have.”

Finally, although Chung told us he could not elaborate, he said that CDNetworks will feature prominently in streaming Olympic coverage to a huge worldwide audience.

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Copyright © 2008 IDG Communications, Inc.

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