SBIR Phase I: CoBlitz: Enabling ISPs to Leverage Network Ownership
The Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase I effort proposes to provide a software platform for service-provider-centric Content Delivery Networks (CDNs) The broadband build-out brings the promise of emerging high-bandwidth applications, but only if the internal capacity of the Internet Service Provider's (ISP's) infrastructure is up to handling the load. It is not, unless augmented with a caching substrate capable of distributing content to the edges of the network. Existing Content Distribution Networks do not address the problem because they are limited to the peering point at which the ISP connects to the global Internet. CoBlitz proposes to develop a unified content distribution substrate that overlays the full network infrastructure?from data centers to central offices to neighborhood access points - allowing subscribers to fully exploit their broadband connections. The CoBlitz technology has three technical advantages: (1) it is content-neutral, handling small and large files, web pages and audio/video streams, whole-file and progressive downloads, and on-demand and live streaming equally well; (2) it reduces costs by minimizing the internal bandwidth consumed, the amount of data that crosses peering points, and the computer hardware needed to cache and serve the data; and (3) it improves end-user experience by reducing delays and fully exploiting the available last-mile bandwidth.
Many believe that network operators are looking for new ways to benefit from their significant investment, the bandwidth they sell is a rapidly decaying commodity, while content providers reap large rewards. Further complicating matters, commercial CDN companies have approached network operators with a dubious proposition - either provide server co-location and bandwidth to the CDN operator for free, or else the CDN operator will place their servers outside the operator's network and the operator will have to pay for all of the incoming traffic across its Internet peering point. The reason this situation exists is because few network operators have the content distribution/caching technology they need. If successful, the CoBlitz technology - software that runs on commodity processors - and business model has the potential to address this significant opportunity.
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