The larger content delivery networks dominate the headlines, but there are still some dynamic challengers to keep track of in the sector. Yesterday, Highwinds (news) introduced a specialized version of its CDN, the Gaming Delivery Network or GDN. While many say that CDNs have become commoditized, there is no industry more sensitive to the speed of the overall experience than the gaming industry and hence there is always space for highly focused offerings.
The perception of that speed depends on a range of technologies, and hence Highwinds GDN packages not only the usual suite of CDN services, but network services and industry-specific gaming software stack. Valve Corporation, a longtime customer, has already signed onto Highwinds' GDN to power their Steam online gaming platform. Steam supports 1,300 games for 30M active players and approaching 5M simultaneously.
Highwinds raised $50M a few months back via a new credit facility with Silicon Valley Bank and Comerica Bank. That's a big enough war chest to sustain the company's challenge to its larger brethren for some time. With consolidation still hanging around though, I wonder if they wouldn't be a prime target for a smaller network operator as an entry into the business at some point.