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NIA: Teridion uses smart routing to make the internet work faster

SearchNetworking's latest Network Innovation Award winner uses cloud-optimized routing to speed up internet performance, working like Waze or Google Maps for networks.

The latest winner of SearchNetworking's Network Innovation Award is San Francisco-based startup Teridion, which bills itself as the Waze of internet routing. Like the navigation app -- which bases its driving recommendations on current traffic and road conditions -- Teridion promises to send network data over the fastest route available at any given moment, dramatically increasing speed and improving user experience.

Teridion's cloud-based, software-as-a-service (SaaS) routing platform uses analytics to assess real-time conditions and direct traffic over its overlay network -- called the Global Cloud Network -- accordingly. Elad Rave, Teridion co-founder and CEO, said his company's technology makes internet connections work about 20 times faster.

The startup targets content providers and file-sharing platforms, such as Box and Egnyte -- both customers -- as well as the gaming industry, which requires the kind of lightning-fast connections Teridion promises to deliver.

To learn more about Teridion, SearchNetworking spoke with Rave.

Note: This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

What problem does Teridion solve?

Elad Rave: When you watch Netflix and you have more than one TV at home, do you ever see it buffering? Does the video ever stop? Do you fail to get full high-definition if you're watching on multiple screens at the same time? The reason for this is not because your internet at home is not working well, because most people have at least 50 Mbps -- I have 100 Mbps at home. And it's definitely not due to Netflix's inability to push data, because they have a huge amount of bandwidth.

The problem is something called the middle mile. Routers on the midroute do not communicate with each other. It's like the bucket brigade. Router A will keep on sending traffic to router B because it has a static table. Basically, that says, 'For this time of day and this type of traffic, send traffic to router B.' It has no intelligence behind it, and it will keep on sending traffic to router B, even if router B is very, very busy.

Teridion solves that problem using intelligent cloud-based routing. It makes your home internet more effective; now, if you have 100 Mbps, you can actually use all 100 Mbps. The same is true for the content providers: They can provide to their customers as much bandwidth as possible.

If a 100 MB file would usually take about one to two minutes to upload, using Teridion, it takes about three to four seconds to upload. So, that's a significant improvement.

How does the technology work?

If a 100 MB file would usually take about one to two minutes to upload, using Teridion, it takes about three to four seconds to upload.
Elad Raveco-founder and CEO, Teridion

Rave: Imagine you're traveling from San Francisco to Los Angeles. The way that the current routers work is: Open up a map, look at the most direct line from San Francisco to LA, and then start driving it. You have no idea if there's traffic, if there's congestion, if there's roadwork or if the road is blocked. All this information is unavailable if you just look at a static map.

Now, all the new navigation software -- such as Waze and Google Maps -- take into account different situations unfolding in real time. They have a heat map of the road between San Francisco and LA. Then, they can actually look at the entire available route and navigate you through different routes that you might not have thought about. But, eventually, it will get you from San Francisco to LA faster.

So, what does deployment look like?

Rave: Usually, it takes about 10 minutes. Teridion uses an overlay network that requires no hardware, no software, no code change -- literally nothing from the content providers or end users.

As a matter of fact, if you go to our website, you can see a video of us demoing our technology to Slack. Because of our ease of deployment, we can actually go to a customer and show him how his system will look with and without Teridion because of the ease of integration.

Who are your target customers?

Rave: We currently target mostly content providers, content-heavy SaaS providers and cloud-sharing companies -- such as Box, for example, which is a client of ours. Teridion enables Box customers all over the world to upload and download files much faster.

The next markets we are targeting are markets that, without Teridion, literally cannot exist. For example, right now, it's impossible for an online game user in San Francisco to play with someone in the United Kingdom. Connectivity has to be very, very fast and reactive, so game developers pretty much don't do it, despite huge demand.

With the Teridion technology, we actually enable people to develop new games and new software that have no geographical limits. It actually, for lack of a better word, brings the world closer together and allows people from different locations to actually interact in real time, without thinking about latency.

How does Teridion differ from content delivery networks (CDNs) and SD-WAN vendors?

Rave: We all solve the same problem -- the midroute. Let's start with the CDN. It says, 'OK, we don't want you to go back and forth on the midroute, so we will cache static content close to the end user. You'll just do a short hop to the nearest CDN cache or point of presence and grab that piece of information.'

That's great when you have static content, and it was even greater 20 years ago, when most of the traffic was static content. Nowadays, when you look at a Facebook webpage, it does have some static content. It has images, it has pictures and stuff like that -- that's a great thing to use a CDN for.

But most of the content is actually dynamic content that CDNs can't use; you and I see a different webpage on Facebook -- our ads are different. And, obviously, CDNs cannot help you if you want to upload your pictures. If you're using Snapchat and you want to upload something, a CDN will not help.

SD-WAN is the new way to connect branches of an organization together, either between them or to the headquarters -- it's not meant for the end user. So, we're solving the same problem, but we're targeting totally different markets.

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