News Column

Researchers Submit Patent Application, "Intermediate Content Processing for Content Delivery Networks", for Approval

August 7, 2014



By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Politics & Government Week -- From Washington, D.C., VerticalNews journalists report that a patent application by the inventors KOKAL, MOHAN I. (Peoria, AZ); HARVELL, BRADLEY B. (Chandler, AZ), filed on December 13, 2013, was made available online on July 24, 2014.

The patent's assignee is Limelight Networks, Inc.

News editors obtained the following quote from the background information supplied by the inventors: "This disclosure relates in general to a content delivery network (CDN) and, but not by way of limitation, to intermediate caching and processing to more efficiently utilize the CDN.

"A CDN is a large distributed system of servers deployed in multiple data centers in the Internet. The goal of a CDN is to serve content to end-users with high availability and high performance. Besides better performance and availability, CDNs also offload the traffic served directly from the content provider's origin infrastructure. CDNs can include geographically distributed points of presence (POPs) to locate edge servers close to end users. CDNs are capable of delivering content in high demand with higher levels of quality of service (QoS). Content can be requested by universal resource locator (URL) from a CDN. Various techniques are used to route a URL request to a nearby POP, for example, in order to efficiently retrieve content.

"Customers are using CDNs and cloud services in more creative ways. Applications, storage, and other services are being provided remotely. New forms and formats for content delivery are constantly being provided that can possibly provide greater access to content, faster transfer rates, and less burden on origin servers."

As a supplement to the background information on this patent application, VerticalNews correspondents also obtained the inventors' summary information for this patent application: "In one embodiment, the present disclosure provides a description of an intermediate server for handling content requests received from edge servers in a Content Delivery Network (CDN) and accessing and processing content distributed throughout the CDN. The intermediate server may include a port that receives a content request from an edge server. The content request may include a Uniform Resource Identifier (URI) associated with requested content, and the edge server and the intermediate server may be part of a first Point-of-Presence (POP) in the CDN. The intermediate server may also include a content processor communicatively coupled to the port and configured to pass the URI to an operating system operating on the intermediate server, receive the requested content from the operating system, and perform a processing function on the requested content to produce processed content for delivery to the edge server. The intermediate server may additionally include a CDN content interface that provides virtualized access to content files accessible using URIs throughout the CDN. The CDN content interface may be configured to receive a first portion of content using the URI where the first portion of content may be stored in the first POP, receive a second portion of content using the URI where the second portion of content may be accessible from a second POP, and provide the requested content to the content processor. The requested content may include the first portion of content and the second portion of content.

"In some embodiments, the CDN content interface may include a virtual file server that operates in userspace without requiring modifications to a kernel of the operating system, a physical storage device, and a caching engine that communicates with the local storage device and other devices in the CDN. The caching engine may be configured to store the first portion of content and second portion of content in the physical storage device. The CDN content interface may be further configured to receive a third portion of the requested content using the URI, where the third portion of the requested content may be stored in the physical storage device, and the requested content may further include the third portion of the requested content. The physical storage device may have a storage capacity that is less than a storage capacity of edge server.

"In some embodiments, the processing function may include dividing the requested content in streaming data chunks. The content processor may include a File Transfer Protocol (FTP) server. The processing function may transcoding the requested content from a first file format to a second file format. The processing function may include encrypting or decrypting the requested content. The content processor may include a third-party module requiring a per-installation license. The second portion of content may be retrieved from an origin server that is accessible through the second POP. The intermediate server may be configured to determine that only a portion of the processed content should be delivered to the edge server, and the processed content may be based on only a portion of the requested content.

"In another embodiment, A method of handling content requests received from edge servers by an intermediate server in a CDN and accessing and processing content distributed throughout the CDN. The method may include receiving a content request through a port from an edge server. The content request may include a Uniform Resource Identifier (URI) associated with requested content, and the edge server and the intermediate server may be part of a first Point-of-Presence (POP) in the CDN. The method may also include passing the URI to an operating system operating on the intermediate server and passing the URI from the operating system to a CDN content interface that provides virtualized access to content files accessible using URIs throughout the CDN. The method may additionally include receiving, by the CDN content interface a first portion of content using the URI where the first portion of content may be stored in the first POP, and a second portion of content using the URI where the second portion of content may be accessible from a second POP. The method may further include passing the requested content to the content processor. The requested content may include the first portion of content and the second portion of content. The method may also include performing a processing function on the requested content by the content processor to produce processed content for delivery to the edge server.

"According to yet another embodiment, another intermediate server for handling content requests received from edge servers in a Content Delivery Network (CDN) and accessing and processing content distributed throughout the CDN may be discussed. The intermediate server may include a port that receives a content request from an edge server. The content request may include a Uniform Resource Identifier (URI) associated with requested content, and the edge server and the intermediate server may be part of a first Point-of-Presence (POP) in the CDN. The intermediate server may also include a content processor communicatively coupled to the port and configured to perform a processing function on the requested content to produce processed content for delivery to the edge server, where the processing function comprises dividing the requested content in streaming data chunks. The intermediate server may additionally include a CDN content interface that provides virtualized access to content files accessible using URIs throughout the CDN. The CDN content interface may be configured to receive a first portion of content using the URI where the first portion of content may be accessible from a second POP, and provide the requested content to the content processor where the requested content may include the first portion of content.

"Further areas of applicability of the present disclosure will become apparent from the detailed description provided hereinafter. It should be understood that the detailed description and specific examples, while indicating various embodiments, are intended for purposes of illustration only and are not intended to necessarily limit the scope of the disclosure.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

"The present disclosure is described in conjunction with the appended figures:

"FIG. 1 depicts a block diagram of an embodiment of a content distribution system.

"FIG. 2 depicts a block diagram of an embodiment of a point of presence (POP) that is part of a content delivery network (CDN).

"FIG. 3 depicts a block diagram of an Intermediate Content Processing Server (ICPS) that is part of a CDN.

"FIG. 4A depicts a block diagram of an ICPS, according to a first embodiment.

"FIG. 4B depicts a block diagram of an ICPS, according to a second embodiment.

"FIG. 4C depicts a block diagram of an ICPS, according to a third embodiment.

"FIG. 5 depicts a flow chart of a method for processing intermediate content in a CDN, according to one embodiment.

"FIG. 6 depicts a swim diagram of transactions within an ICPS, according to one embodiment.

"FIG. 7 depicts a block diagram of an embodiment of a computer system.

"FIG. 8 depicts a block diagram of an embodiment of a special-purpose computer system.

"In the appended figures, similar components and/or features may have the same reference label. Further, various components of the same type may be distinguished by following the reference label by a dash and a second label that distinguishes among the similar components. If only the first reference label is used in the specification, the description is applicable to any one of the similar components having the same first reference label irrespective of the second reference label."

For additional information on this patent application, see: KOKAL, MOHAN I.; HARVELL, BRADLEY B. Intermediate Content Processing for Content Delivery Networks. Filed December 13, 2013 and posted July 24, 2014. Patent URL: http://appft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO2&Sect2=HITOFF&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsearch-adv.html&r=558&p=12&f=G&l=50&d=PG01&S1=20140717.PD.&OS=PD/20140717&RS=PD/20140717

Keywords for this news article include: Internet, World Wide Web, Limelight Networks Inc., Uniform Resource Identifiers.

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Source: Politics & Government Week


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