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A content delivery network or content distribution network (CDN) is a large distributed system of proxy servers deployed in multiple data centers via the Internet. The goal of a CDN is to serve content to end-users with high availability and high performance. CDNs serve a large fraction of the Internet content today, including web objects,  

downloadable objects, live streaming media, on-demand streaming media, and social networks. If content owners are not satisfied with the options or costs of a commercial CDN service, they can create their own CDN. This is called a private CDN. A private CDN consists of POPs that are only serving content for their owner. In addition, CDNs provide the content provider a degree of protection from DoS attacks by using their large distributed server infrastructure to absorb the attack traffic.

The rapid growth of streaming video traffic uses large capital expenditures by broadband providers in order to meet this demand and to retain subscribers by delivering a sufficiently good quality of experience. To address this, telecommunications service providers (TSPs) have begun to launch their own content delivery networks as a means to lessen the demands on the network backbone and to reduce infrastructure investments.