Benefits of caching

27 May 2020 | Consulting

David Abecassis Andrew Daly Michael Kende


Benefits of CachingAnalysys Mason was commissioned to prepare a report outlining the benefits of caching to the workings of the Internet, and the importance of a supportive regulatory regime for the development of caching services. 

The Internet is a fundamental component of 21st century society, having supported the development of many innovative services that underpin modern life. The caching industry was born as a result of massive growth in Internet traffic, as a technical solution to meet market needs for efficient, cost-effective and high-performance content delivery. 

Caching services provide benefits to content providers, consumers and the entire Internet ecosystem across three key areas: 

  • Improved quality of experience: Caching can deliver material improvements in the quality of experience (QoE) provided by content providers to consumers. 
  • Increased network and energy efficiency: Caching enables more efficient use of network capacity by reducing the number of ‘trips’ to request and serve content. This effect can significantly reduce the need for duplicated infrastructure deployment – resulting in significant cost savings and economic benefits for the entire Internet ecosystem. Furthermore, commercial caching providers can operate at scale, making extensive use of infrastructure shared between multiple customers, which is energy efficient. 
  • More dynamic competition and innovation: Access to caching services lowers barriers to entry for emerging content providers (including SMEs launching new services) and supports these companies in delivering innovative services to consumers. Caching allows new or emerging content providers to provide a good user experience from service launch without making costly infrastructure investments, enabling them to compete with established players. 

The existing regulatory regime has allowed caching providers to develop innovative approaches in response to consumer and content provider demand. Changes to regulations must be approached carefully, to avoid harmful disruption to legitimate content delivery, the quality of experience of end users, and the cost of carrying and delivering traffic for content providers and ISPs. 

The full report provides an introduction to the fundamentals of caching and the caching industry, a review of the benefits of caching, a discussion of the key trends underpinning demand for a supply of caching, and an overview of the regulatory and policy implications if caching is curtailed. 

The report, commissioned by Cloudflare, is available here.

Analysys Mason report: Benefits of Caching