Lumen Technologies Content Delivery Services

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Lumen Technologies
Content Delivery Solutions

by Brady Hicks

Docid: 00021400

Publication Date: 2105

Report Type: PRODUCT


Lumen Technologies (formerly CenturyLink) offers a complete portfolio of CDN
(content delivery network) services that the company bolstered with its 2017
acquisition of Level 3 Communications. The offerings – which are available via
Lumen’s Internet backbone – includes CDN (standard), CDN Mesh Delivery, and CDN
Edge Compute. The Content Delivery Solutions family is designed to help clients
better manage and distribute enterprise content, including text, programs, audio
and video files, and rich media objects. This report looks at Lumen’s CDN
offerings in greater detail.

Report Contents:


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Lumen Technologies – which rebranded itself from CenturyLink in September 2020 –
offers a comprehensive portfolio of CDN (content delivery network) solutions and
services. This family is somewhat based on the company’s 2017 acquisition of
Level 3 Communications for $26.50 per share. Although CenturyLink had CDN
services in its portfolio, the transaction helped bolster its services for
managing enterprise content distribution, including text programs, audio and
video files, and rich media objects.

Faulkner Reports

Lumen Technologies Company Profile

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Limelight Networks CDN Services Product Report 

Delivery Networks Tutorial

Lumen’s CDN portfolio is designed to leverage its network scalability
and global footprint to deliver content to customers, worldwide. The family, in
particular, can accommodate OTT (over-the-top) video delivery across content
acquisition, storage, encoding, and distribution.

Name: Lumen Technologies
100 CenturyLink Drive
Monroe, Louisiana 71203
(800) 871-9244
Type of Vendor: Telecommunications Services Provider
Founded: 1930
Service Areas: Global
Stock Symbol: LUMN (NYSE)

The portfolio focuses on delivering seamless streaming video and digital
content distribution that leverages Lumen network scalability, global
footprint, and customer service. Two product categories are available:

  • CDN – Delivers seamless streaming video anywhere by leveraging
    Lumen’s global network.
  • CDN Mesh Delivery – Combines CDN with CenturyLink’s distributed
    mesh architecture to provide smooth, reliable on-demand video, and streaming
    linear channels.
  • CDN Edge Compute – Comprehensive solution for high-performance,
    scalability, and security for complete, code-level control over edge
    workload configuration, testing, and global deployment. Developers can run
    workloads that define the edge using DevOps-friendly metrics, logs, and
    alerts for troubleshooting and edge module tuning.

Figure 1 depicts Lumen’s CDN.

Figure 1.  CDN in Action

Figure 1.  CDN in Action

Source: Lumen Technologies

Some of the benefits and capabilities of the CenturyLink CDN portfolio are
detailed in Table 1.

Table 1. CDN Benefits and
Benefits Capabilities
Ability to scale to meet bandwidth demands
Video Delivery
Performance and scale to provide audio / video streaming and
download capabilities worldwide
Support for accelerating delivery and performance to protect assets
and information
Digital Downloads
Fast, uninterrupted downloads, worldwide, to accelerate the delivery
of digital files to users
Smooth and reliable content for "exceptional viewing"
Origin Services
Storage and management for content libraries of virtually any


In a CDN, content is
copied and distributed – or replicated – from the
“origin” server to strategically dispersed servers.  When a
specific page or file is requested by
an authorized user, the CDN identifies the nearest server (as determined
by the minimum number of nodes between the server and the user) and
the information.  By ensuring that content is delivered from the
source, data transit time  –  and, thus, system response
time  –  are minimized. The concept is analogous to a product
distribution network in which an enterprise maintains three product warehouses,
each stocked with the same merchandise.  One warehouse is located in New
York, another in Chicago, and the third in Los Angeles.  If a client
located in Philadelphia orders a product, the product is shipped from the
nearest warehouse (in this case, New York).  Similarly, if a client in
Phoenix orders the same product, the product is dispatched from the warehouse
closest to Phoenix (namely, Los Angeles).

Lumen’s CDN, in particular, delivers seamless streaming video, anywhere, by
leveraging its global network. Particular selling points include:

  • High-performance video delivery and object storage.
  • Fast, secure digital downloads, regardless of size.
  • Optimized Web delivery.
  • Storage and management for content libraries over Lumen’s global

CDN Mesh Delivery

Lumen’s CDN Mesh Delivery offers a distributed mesh architecture that scales
to manage traffic spikes from events and other forms of highly-viewed content.
The service is highlighted in Table 2.

Table 2. CDN Mesh Delivery
Product Description
Multi-Sourced Delivery Promotes distribution of traffic and improved service quality
Hybrid Peer-Assist Technology Improves reliability, stability, and performance
Dynamic Multi-Sourcing Increases global reach and accessibility
Scalability Supports as-needed and pay-as-you-grow development

Figure 2 provides an overview of Lumen’s CDN Mesh Delivery.

Figure 2. Mesh Delivery

Figure 2. Mesh Delivery

Source: Lumen Technologies

CDN Edge Compute

The CDN Edge Compute service is designed to support the re-architecting of
one’s application environment, thus helping accelerate and secure modern
workloads. Elements include:

  • Dev-Ops-friendly edge compute environment.
  • Digital twin creation for rapid testing and deployment.
  • Streamlined orchestration and deployment of security controls.

Table 3 explores detailed specifications for CDN Edge Compute.

Table 3. CDN Edge Compute
Element Specification
Presence Over 60 points-of-presence in 40 locations worldwide
Metrics Real-time alert logs and trending metrics
Integration HTTP/2 network and DevOps integration
Configurations Third-party, module-based, advanced static and dynamic content cache
configurations, Varnish configuration rules engine, front-end
optimization, and image optimization
Network Global, robust, network-based DDoS, facilitated by peered IP backbones
to support end-to-end layer 3/4 and Layer 7 protection
Edge Modules Options for bringing one’s own workload or choosing, configuring, and
deploying edge software from a library of best-of-breed edge modules
Additional Features
  • Accelerated application performance to enhance digital
    interactions, globally
  • Digital twin creation for rapid testing and deployment
  • Modular marketplace of next-gen WAF, bot management, and API
  • Rapid orchestration and deployment of security controls

Figure 3 shows Lumen’s CDN Edge Compute in action.

Figure 3.  CDN Edge Compute

Figure 3.  CDN Edge Compute

Source: Lumen Technologies


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Lumen’s CDN portfolio is designed with the content provider in mind. On
a generic level, the collection works to:

  • Streamline content delivery to improve the client / end-user relationship.
  • Outsource content delivery and management functions to reduce
    infrastructure and other support costs.
  • Store and manage content for improved reliability.
  • Monetize content by developing a content-based revenue stream.


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Lumen’s global network spans 500,000+ miles of fiber, offering 100Gbps
capacity across a 20.9Tbps network backbone with IPv6 support.

Figure 4 shows the provider’s
current global network reach.

Figure 4. Global Network Reach

Figure 4. Global Network Reach

Source: Lumen Technologies


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Lumen’s support
contains contact numbers and other information for obtaining support.


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Sales support and pricing are likewise
available exclusively
from the Lumen Web site.


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Top competitors include Akamai CDN Services, AWS CloudFront, Rackspace CDN, INAP CDN services, and Limelight Networks’ CDN
Services, among dozens of other competitors.

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About the Author

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Brady Hicks is an
editor with Faulkner Information Services. He writes about computer and
networking hardware, software, communications networks and equipment, and the

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