April 30, 2012 by Pete Bretz

CDN of Choice?

I’m loving Amazon Web Services (AWS)!

When we got started in the streaming business a few years ago, we gravitated to Akamai as our CDN of choice. Akamai touted its edge network as the solution to optimized video delivery across the globe. We haven’t been disappointed in stability and performance of the Akamai service, though it is quite pricey.

Partly motivated by the promise of cost savings, partly motivated by the promise of streaming to mobile devices, we started looking at AWS about a year and a half ago. AWS and its build-it-yourself approach have required some time investment to implement. But with a substantial knowledge base, and a very affordable monthly support contract, we’ve got a live and VOD solution for streaming to desktops and mobile devices, globally, at a fraction of the cost of Akamai!

So, have we stopped using Akamai? Not yet. We have some clients that have spec’d Akamai as their preferred provider. But it’s getting more and more difficult to continue. My biggest rub is the headaches we’ve endured to setup HTML5 video support with their service. Seems to me that everyone is talking about HTML5 support that there would be an FAQ or some form of documentation showing how to reference files in the HTML5 video tag. One month of email exchanges with our reseller and with Akamai’s tech support and we still don’t know how to refer to Akamai hosted videos for playback in an HTML5 compatible browser.

Are we just not speaking the same language?

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