CDN Capacity Numbers Don't Matter

What is a CDN?

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CacheFly Team

Date Posted:

June 22, 2021

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CacheFly is a CDN. So, what is that?

A content delivery network (CDN) is a system of distributed servers (network) that deliver webpages and other Web content to a user based on the geographic locations of the user, the origin of the webpage, and a content delivery server.

In lay-man terms, CDN transfers the data hosted at the origin to the eyeballs of its viewers. An origin is anywhere that the data you want your users to see is stored.

How does that work?

At its essence, a CDN is a network of servers collectively linked to deliver content as quickly, economic, reliable, and secure as practicable. A CDN will place servers at the exchange points between different networks to improve agility, speed, and connectivity.
These Internet exchange points (IXPs) are the primary locations where different Internet providers connect to provide each other access to traffic originating on their various networks. A CDN provider can reduce costs and transit times in high-speed data delivery by linking to these high-speed and highly interconnected locations.

What are the benefits of using a CDN?

Although the advantages of using a CDN vary depending on the size and needs of a web asset, the universal benefits are as follows:

Reducing Load Times– By distributing content closer to visitors by using a nearby CDN server and other optimizations, visitors experience faster loading times. In addition, since visitors are more inclined to click away from a slow-loading site, implementing a CDN can decrease bounce rates and increase time spent on the site. A faster website means more visitors will stay and stick around longer. 

53% of mobile visitors abandon sites if pages take longer than 3 seconds to load. A 2-second delay in load time resulted in abandonment rates of up to 87%. Additionally, an extremely slow site can be a negative Google Ranking factor.

Enhancing content availability and redundancy -Traffic and hardware failures can interrupt normal web function. Thanks to its distribution on edge, a CDN can handle heavier traffic and withstand hardware failure better than origin servers. Unfortunately, 2021 has already seen three major CDN outages, so we highly recommend multi-CDN for the ultimate redundancy.

Decreasing bandwidth costs – Bandwidth usage costs for website hosting are a prime expense for many sites. By caching and implementing additional optimizations, CDNs can lessen the amount of data an origin server needs to provide, thus diminishing hosting costs for website owners. When paired with our storage optimization system, implementing CacheFly has saved some customers more than 80,000/mo.

Improving web security – A CDN may improve safety by providing security options like DDoS, WAF, or bot mitigation. 

So, who needs CDN?

It can be just about anyone who has a website. The more traffic you have and/or the larger your data and files are, the more important it becomes to the functionality of your site. CDN can also deliver other content, like game downloads and software updates, more quickly. Whether it’s HTML pages, javascript files, stylesheets, images, videos, or any other type of content, it needs to be accelerated for high QoE if it exists on the web. Most likely, if you’re downloading something from the internet, you’re using a CDN (if you aren’t waiting 15 minutes for a <1 GB file)

Think of the internet as a spider web of servers (or pops) that are all connected (but not always directly) When you don’t have CDN on your side the information can sort of just… bounce around in Digi-space trying to get from origin to end-user. With a CDN it takes the most direct route available.

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