CDN

Content Delivery Network (CDN) refers to a group of servers that are geographically distributed in order to work together so that they will be able to provide faster data transmission across the internet towards a variety of different devices.[1] A CDM makes sure that there is a quick transfer of different assets needed for the secure loading of content on the internet. This includes a plethora of different pages which range from HTML pages, Javascript files, images, audio files, videos, to even stylesheets.

In the past few years, the popularity of CDN has grown substantially with the majority of web traffic being served through CDNs. This includes the giants within social media and other streaming platforms, such as Facebook, Netflix, and even Amazon.

However, CDN is different from a webhost. It does not necessarily host content and doesn’t replace the necessity of getting a proper web hosting but it does help when it comes to storing and compiling content at the edge of the network. This makes sure that the performance of the website is optimized. In most cases, a lot of sites have a problem when it comes to performance issues since most rely on traditional web hosting. One of the reasons why CDN is becoming a growing preference is because it is able to utilize storing and caching data to reduce the bandwidth use and, in turn, also mitigates interruptions. Also, it improves overall information security of the site. Thus, CDNs have become a popular choice when it comes to tackling major performance issues that come from the traditional form of web hosting.

Functionality

In order to mitigate content loading time between the end users and the origin server, a CDN caches a compiled and indexed version of the content on a server that is geographically closer. Each PoP (Point of Presence) contains a number of caching servers which are mainly used for content delivery for anyone that is within close proximity.[2] This makes sure that the delivery of the content is fast and responsive.

Basically, a CDN places the content in many different places all at once, this makes sure that it provides a wide range of coverage for different visitors and users. For example: If someone is accessing a website that is originally from the United States while the user is in Japan, then the user is routed towards a local Japanese PoP instead of going through the US server. What would usually take a minute or two to load would then just take at least a few seconds. This is a much quicker way of requesting data that makes the site more responsive.

Benefits

The benefits of CDN usually depend on the size and the specific needs of the users and the internet property or domain. However, CDN is generally advantageous in a number of ways.[3]

Improving Domain Loading Time

Through the distribution of content a bit closer to visitors of websites by using a nearby CDN server, visitors and customers will be able to experience faster loading times. The main function of this is that is brings in more traffic because of the fast and responsive features of the website. Users have to take into account that distance can be one of the reasons on why there is a delay on the loading of the data and content. By having a geographically closer data center, then there is no need for the site to retrieve information from a much farther origin server. Also, being able to optimize hardware and software would mean that both are in top condition. The equipment that is being used is in an efficient, balanced, and solid state. This makes sure that the data reaches the user faster.

Reducing Bandwidth

The consumption of bandwidth can be detrimental towards the cost of hosting a website. Since the maintenance of the website can usually take up much of the domain owner’s expenditure, it is only logical to have a CDN that will help reduce the amount of data that the source server needs to provide.

Increasing Content Availability and Redundancy

In most cases, having a large amount of traffic as well as malfunctions in the hardware can disrupt the natural main functions of a website. This might result to downtimes as the support of that website has now been forced to perform maintenance. Compared to conventional delivery networks, a CDN can handle heavier forms of traffic while also being able to withstand hardware malfunctions that might prove to be a detriment in the future.

Improved Security Quality

A CDN will definitely improve the security of your site by mitigating the risks of DDoS (Denial-of-service attack) while also improving security certificates and other forms of optimization. When it comes to almost all servers and networks, information security is one of the most paramount parts that users have to take into account. With a CDN, it can keep a site secured and safe through the use of the TLS or SSL certificates. This ensures that a very efficient standard of processes like integrity, authentication, and encryption.

Latency

In most cases, when a site has too much content to load, it takes longer for it to load all the content for the user to see. This actually puts off a lot of visitors as almost everyone wants a quick and responsive website. Content Delivery Networks can reduce the amount of data that needs to be transmitted by simply reducing the file sizes by using processes such as the compression of files. The smaller the file size, the quicker and more responsive the delivery. They also have the feature of speeding up websites through the use of TLS or SSL certificates through the optimization of connection reuse.


  1. https://www.webopedia.com/TERM/C/CDN.html ↩︎

  2. https://www.imperva.com/learn/performance/what-is-cdn-how-it-works/?utm_campaign=Incapsula-moved ↩︎

  3. https://www.cloudflare.com/learning/cdn/what-is-a-cdn/ ↩︎