Apple has begun using the “edge caching” technique to improve its TV streaming service and very likely also other content related services. The company has begun a pilot program which is “invite only” to certain users to try out its new content delivery mechanism.
Edge caching allows content to be delivered faster and efficiently to users as it creates a cache in local servers. The technique uses ISP’s networks and servers to store streamed content for a short period of time which can be used by another user on the same network trying to access the same content.
Edge caching for improved speeds
Normally, if two users on the same network plan to stream a movie, each of them would make two seperate pings to the content provider’s server. Apple’s current system uses such a system and the company plans to improve the speed and efficiency of its system by using “edge caching”.
By doing so, Apple users will be able to access content faster and also it will reduce blocks in the server as less pings will be made to the server. The internet service provider (ISP) will be able to store the data for a while which will be reused in case of another ping.
As a result, the number of requests made to Apple’s servers will be reduced which will also help the company reduce the server load. It will not only benefit the company but also the consumers as they will be able to access content faster with reduced latency and will very likely run into lesser number of problems when streaming.
Apple is new to the game of streaming and it appears to be catching up. Streaming services like Netflix and Amazon already make use of similar practices to improve their streaming speeds and at the same time reduce any roadblocks.