As a followup to my thoughts on that WebHostingTalk poll, consider the top 4 in that poll: Level 3, Internap, AT&T, and Savvis. These companies have something in common, the first three are recent entrants into the CDN space, and the fourth had a CDN until last year. In fact, the first three are the only networks with a CDN offering.
This is not a coincidence, it is a customer focus thing. Many of the customers that buy CDN services are essentially the same ones that buy IP Transit in datacenters. In other posts I have tried to make the point that other network operators seem less likely to enter the CDN business than those who already have. For instance, on the surface Verizon seems very likely to enter the CDN space since AT&T did – what’s good for one RBOC is good for another, right? In my opinion, this does not necessarily follow – it could, but AT&T has a substantial presence in the datacenter market that Verizon doesn’t have. It would take Verizon more work, more money, more focus to enter the CDN business than for AT&T, or for Level 3 or Internap, because Verizon starts from a lower rung on the ladder amongst these customers. That doesn’t mean they won’t do it, only that the hurdles are higher.
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