Startup content-delivery network Cotendo appears to have figured out a method for competing with larger CDNs such as Akamai without building an equally large infrastructure. Cotendo is leveraging data center operator Equinix’s global footprint to give itself 30 points of presence, letting Cotendo focus on differentiating elsewhere. The companies released details of their partnership (PDF) on Thursday morning, including a quadrupling of Cotendo’s customer base to 400 from 100 in the past two years.
It’s no secret that Cotendo didn’t build its own infrastructure, but it’s interesting to know whose data centers it is using. Equinix data centers are not only high-end in terms of their specifications but are also strategically located for maximum connectivity. Further, Equinix has a lot of customers, so for services like its Mobile Acceleration Service, Cotendo is able to reside in the same data center as the mobile content it’s serving.
Akamai has dominated the CDN market for years, but the market is undergoing serious changes. In some ways, it’s on a level playing field with younger competition such as Cotendo, as well as telcos trying to get into content delivery, when it comes to delivering mobile content and dynamic content rather than traditional static content. For providers like Cotendo, being able to focus on new software to deliver new types of content — and to leave data center operations to the experts — provides something of a competitive advantage against its deep-pocketed and more-experienced rivals.