The EBU’s multi-CDN project will help its members deliver content reliably over the internet in a cost-effective manner, writes Bram Tullemans.

Bram tullemans

The CDN (content delivery network) service is called EBU Flow and has two main objectives: to improve the quality of online delivery and to reduce the costs that content providers are facing. The project kicked-off with a pilot phase including five broadcasters, a load balancer and three CDNs.

The online media traffic from the participating broadcasters is load balanced dynamically using real-time performance information gathered throughout the delivery chain.

One of the sources used is Quality of Experience information collected from the content provider’s player or website that is activated by the visit of an end user at a certain moment in time from a specific location.

IBC2017 Bram Tullemans will speak as part of the Paper Session: Solving OTT’s achilles heel - the scaling problem on Friday 15 September 

EBU members can use the load balancing solution to offload their online delivery traffic entirely or include their own traffic arrangements and business rules in the mix, to automatically switch suppliers when peering lines get congested for example, or to direct data flows to preferred distribution partners.

D3 feature ebu multi cdn pix2

The pilot will provide both technical, operational and business related findings. From a technical and architectural perspective we will learn how origins should behave in a multi-CDN setup and how geo-fencing, token authentication, HTTPS secured traffic, cache purging, etc. can be applied when traffic is load-balanced over several CDNs.

The combination of real-time metrics and performance of different rule-based traffic flow algorithms will be tested to create a fully redundant and cost-optimised solution.

The pilot phase will capture requirements for a multi-CDN setup that will allow members to tender or deploy such a solution themselves.

Interviews with EBU members and engagement with the industry have shown that there is a consensus that a multi-CDN strategy is necessary to meet the expanding demand for video content, both in terms of geography and throughput.

To learn more about Flow, visit the EBU booth for a demo, read the IBC paper ‘Technical practices for a multi-cdn distribution strategy’ or visit

Bram Tullemans is EBU Senior Project Manager and will be speaking at IBC2017.