May 17, 2020

Vodafone enters cloud gaming space alongside tech giants

Cloud
5G
Entertainment
William Smith
2 min
As the world moves away from hardware based solutions, in business or at home, it only makes sense that the video game industry moves too
As the world moves away from hardware based solutions, in business or at home, it only makes sense that the video game industry moves too.

Worth $134.9...

As the world moves away from hardware based solutions, in business or at home, it only makes sense that the video game industry moves too. 

Worth $134.9bn in 2018, the business is already attracting major players, with the arrival of cloud technology only hastening matters.

Telecommunications giant Vodafone today announced its entry into the race, partnering with mobile game streaming company Hatch to make its service available for Vodafone 5G customers in Germany.

Vodafone CEO, Hannes Ametsreiter, said: "We bring gaming to the cloud - and making the playing of games on our network and devices easier than ever before. From borrowing, buying and downloading to streaming – with Vodafone this is all possible, anywhere and everywhere. With 5G, streaming graphic-intensive games becomes even more sophisticated. In the multiplayer sector, the low latency of 5G improves the gaming experience significantly." 

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Hatch promises a low-latency experience with the help of 5G, addressing a significant challenge the technology has historically faced.

The current wave got off to an abortive start with the release of OnLive in 2010. Without the internet infrastructure to properly support the service, reception was mixed as the experience failed to come close to that of playing on a physical console.

Clearly, however, companies are coming to believe that the world is ready for the technology, supported in part by the advent of high-speed, low latency networking in the form of 5G.

Google in particular is leading the charge, announcing its Google Stadia service in March. The subscription based service, which requires no dedicated hardware, is scheduled to launch in November.

Such is the perception of the importance of cloud gaming that arch rivals Sony and Microsoft in May announced a collaboration to explore cloud-based gaming. Consequently, Microsoft’s existing Azure cloud servers are poised to deliver Sony’s own game streaming service, PlayStation Now.

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Jun 8, 2021

Fastly's CDN Reportedly to Blame for Global Internet Outage

Technology
Fastly
servers
websites
Tilly Kenyon & Oliver James Fr...
3 min
Multiple outages have hit social media, government, and news websites across the globe

A huge outage has brought down a number of major websites around the world. Among those affected are gov.uk, Hulu, PayPal, Vimeo, and news outlets such as CNN, The Guardian, The New York Times, BBC, and Financial Times.

It is thought a glitch at Fastly ─ a popular CDN provider ─ is causing the worldwide issue. Fastly has confirmed it’s facing an outage on its status website but fails to specify a reason for the fault ─ only that the problem isn’t limited to a single data centre and, instead, is a “global CDN disruption” that is potentially affecting the company’s global network.

“We’re currently investigating potential impact to performance with our CDN services,” the firm said.

What is Fastly?

Fastly is a content delivery network (CDN) company that helps users view digital content more quickly. The company also provides security, video delivery, and so-called edge computing services. They use strategically distributed, highly performant POPs to help move data and applications closer to users and deliver up-to-date content quickly.

The firm has been proving increasingly popular among leading media websites. After going public on the New York Stock Exchange in 2019, shares rose exponentially in price, but after today’s outages, Fastly’s value has taken a sharp 5.21% fall and are currently trading at US$48.06. 

What are CDNs?

Content delivery networks (CDNs) are a web of small computers, or servers, that link together to collaborate as a single computer. CDNs improve the performance of internet-connected devices by placing these servers as close as possible to the people using those devices in different locations, creating hundreds of points of presence, otherwise known as POPs.

They help minimise delays in loading web page content by reducing the physical distance between the server and the user. This helps users around the world view the same high-quality content without slow loading times. 

Without a CDN, content origin servers must respond to every single end-user request. This results in significant traffic to the origin and subsequent load, thereby increasing the chances for origin failure if the traffic spikes are exceedingly high or if the load is persistent.

The Risk of CDNs

Over time, developers have attempted to protect users from the dangers of overreliance through the implementation of load balancing, DDoS (Denial of Service) protection, web application firewalls, and a myriad of other security features. 

Clearly, by the state of today’s major website outage, these measures aren’t enough. Evidently, CDNs present a risk factor that is widely underestimated ─ which needs to be rectified with haste. Content delivery networks have become a key part of the global infrastructure, and so it’s imperative that organisations start to figure out risk mitigation strategies to protect companies reliant on the interconnected service from further disruption and disarray. 

Over the coming days, both Technology Magazine and Data Centre Magazine will continue to provide updates on the current situation as developments are made.

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