Cloudflare, a content delivery network service provider, formed a new group yesterday called as the Bandwidth Alliance to reduce bandwidth cost of many cloud users. Cloudflare will provide heavy discounts or free services on bandwidth charges to organizations who are both Cloudflare customers and cloud providers part of this alliance.
Current bandwidth charges
Hosting on most cloud providers includes data transfer charges, known as bandwidth or egress charges. These charges include the cost of delivering traffic from the cloud to the consumer. However, while using a CDN like Cloudflare, the cost of data transfer is additional over the content delivery cost.
This extra charge makes sense if the data has to cross thousands of miles where an infrastructure needs to be maintained across this distance. To do all this, there is a costing involved, which further gets added to customer’s final bill. The Bandwidth Alliance aims to eliminate these additional charges and provide more affordable cloud services.
What is the bandwidth alliance?
Traffic that is delivered to users through Cloudflare passes across a Private Network Interface (PNI). The PNI usually is within the same facility formed with a fiber optic cable between routers for the two networks. If there’s no transit provider, nor a middleman for maintaining infrastructure, there is no additional cost for Cloudflare or the cloud provider. Cloud service providers use the PNI’s to deeply interconnect with third party networks and Cloudflare.
Cloudflare carries the traffic automatically from the user’s location to the Cloudflare data center nearest to the cloud provider then over the PNIs. Cloudflare has heavily peered networks allowing traffic to be carried over the free interconnected links.
Thus, Cloudflare came up with Bandwidth Alliance to provide the mutual customers with lower costs. They teamed up with some cloud providers to see if they can make use of their huge interconnects to benefit the end customers.
Some of the current members include Automattic, Backblaze, DigitalOcean, DreamHost, IBM Cloud, linode, Microsoft Azure, Packet, Scaleway, and Vapor. The alliance is open for inclusion of more cloud providers.
You can read more in the official Cloudflare Blog.