There is no doubt that 5G is getting closer and closer, which will bring us to more magnificent times. Driven by 5G, network video will evolve from SD and HD to 4K/8K and AR/VR. The application of Internet of Things (IoT) and Artificial Intelligence (AI) is larger and deeper. These factors at play will give huge potential to various industries.
This situation makes people have greater demand for network bandwidth and computing processing power, which will bring new challenges and opportunities for CDN services. With the emergence of new applications and services, what new requirements are put forward for CDN services? Where will the evolving CDN go in the future? On April 10, Zong Jie, General Manager of Kingsoft Cloud CDN and Video Cloud Product Center, delivered a keynote speech and gave his own answers to these questions at the 7th Asia-Pacific Content Distribution Conference and CDN Summit Leaders Forum. Zong said that in the era of 5G AI IoT, CDN will usher in a new stage of development, namely AI and edge computing. In order to comply with this technology trend, Kingsoft Cloud first proposed the development strategy of “AI to upper layer, edge to lower layer”. We hope to provide our customers with the perfect service of stability, low latency, flexibility and transparency.
5G+AI+IoT is coming, so where should CDN go?
Zong said in his speech that by teasing out the development of CDN over the years, it is possible to predict its future direction. Tim Berners-Lee, the "father of the Internet," accurately predicted in 1995 that the Internet would be congested. Later, CDN gradually became a commercial service as a solution to this problem. Until now, CDN has become an important network infrastructure. It can be seen that CDN architecture is constantly changing and has gone through three phases.
The first phase is characterized by the edge of the network. Early Internet users directly accessed the source station, putting tremendous pressure on it, thus causing Internet link congestion. People can use CDN to cache content to the edge of the network. It allows users to access network nodes faster which are closest to them, while reducing load on source server and the traffic on the Internet.
The second phase features edge storage and CDN pipelining. The popularity of 4G has spawned high-definition video, webcast and short video, so there is a huge demand for video file storage, which makes the CDN architecture more complicated. The upper layer of the CDN has dedicated storage extensions and transcoding services for processing video.
"These two stages show that the evolving CDN will change even more in the future," Zong said. 5G deployment combined with the cooperation of AI and IoT will usher in a data explosion. The current CDN architecture cannot meet the application needs of the 5G era. Therefore, CDN will usher in the third phase, featuring AI and edge computing. Faced with complex application-side and low-latency requirements, CDN need not only to respond quickly, but also to be more transparent in terms of service capabilities, state and quality.
Kingsoft Cloud's CDN strategy: “AI to upper layer, edge to lower layer”
In the face of complex and ever-changing industry trends, Kingsoft Cloud not only has rich resources, but also has in-depth thinking. According to Zong, Kingsoft Cloud has a huge pool of high-quality resources around the world. Specifically, there are currently 1000 CDN nodes in China with 60T reserve bandwidth. Kingsoft Cloud has cooperated with internationally renowned CDN manufacturers to cover all regions of the world and ensure the rapid and stable distribution of resources.
Kingsoft Cloud has a holographic and transparent data support system, which can realize all-round and high-availability service guarantee. It serves 90% of video head customers, such as providing live broadcast guarantees for major events including the Two Sessions, World Internet Conference, World Cup and CCTV Spring Festival Evening. In addition, Kingsoft Cloud is an important participant and supporter of Xiaomi's AIOT strategy. Through the research and deepening of the industry, Kingsoft Cloud proposed its CDN development strategy of “AI to upper layer, edge to lower layer”. It continues to realize the landing of products and services, providing better services to customers in the video industry, and extending to more fields.
Regarding "AI to upper layer ", Zong said that Kingsoft Cloud CDN service seamlessly docks with AI products, which can improve image quality and reduce bandwidth cost. For example, Kingsoft smart high definition (KSHD) integrates coding, image processing, and artificial intelligence based on human eye. Through the self-developed algorithm and deep neural network, the video content is perceived, saving 20%-40% of the video transmission bandwidth for the customer and bringing a better visual experience.
Kingsoft Image & AI Enhancement (KIE) uses super-resolution and image quality restoration techniques to repair image noise, mosaic and other losses, and reconstruct image parts and details. Significantly enhance the viewing experience, saving 30% - 50% of the cost of image transmission bandwidth. Based on AI technology and super-strong algorithms, King Insight can guarantee the security of CDN content in real time and reduce the cost of analysis and monitoring for customers.
Regarding "edge to lower layer ", Zong said that Kingsoft Cloud will launch Kingsoft Edge Node Computing (KENC), which is a container cloud platform running on the edge node of Kingsoft Cloud CDN. It supports running custom container images on the edge. And through the principle of proximity, HashRate is efficiently distributed to full-area coverage, providing high-performance, low-latency edge computing services. "With KENC, we hope to extend the transmission and computing power to the carrier base station and home terminal through the deep edge computing of CDN."
"The continuous development and upgrading of emerging technologies will allow the connotation and extension of the CDN market to expand and will exert greater value," Zong said. Kingsoft Cloud hopes to actively explore the future development of CDN with its technical strength, and create a better future together with many partners and customers in the new era.