Live video delivery is expected to reach a peak of 50 Tbps this year . This surging popularity is fundamentally changing the Internet video delivery landscape. CDNs must meet users' demands for fast join times, high bitrates, and low buffering ratios, while minimizing their own cost of delivery and responding to issues in real-time. Wide-area latency, loss, and failures, as well as varied workloads ("mega-events" to long-tail), make meeting these demands challenging.
An analysis of video sessions  concluded that a centralized controller could improve user experience, but CDN systems have shied away from such designs due to the difficulty of quickly handling failures , a requirement of both operators and users. We introduce VDN, a practical approach to a video delivery network that uses a centralized algorithm for live video optimization. VDN provides CDN operators with real-time, fine-grained control. It does this in spite of challenges resulting from the wide-area (e.g., state inconsistency, partitions, failures) by using a hybrid centralized+distributed control plane, increasing average bitrate by 1.7x and decreasing cost by 2x in different scenarios.