Published By - Brian Curtis

What is Content Delivery Network and Why is it important?

What is Content Delivery Network and Why is it important?

Content delivery network (CDN), also known as Content Distribution Network is a complex network in charge of content delivery. Whether you are aware of it or not, everything you load from a popular web service is mostly delivered through CDN.

For example, popular social networking platforms such as Facebook or media service provider such as Netflix uses the network to deliver all the content requested by millions of users in the shortest amount of time possible.

The idea behind CDN is to counter latency, the pesky delay interval you experience between requested data and receiving data from a server.

The cause of delay varies on web pages, but generally, it is because of:

  1. The physical distance between you and that website’s hosting server. The further you are from the server which serves the content, the longer the delay.
  2. The monstrous traffic is creating congestions and resulting in transmitting web page requests.

Content Delivery Networks is the brilliant idea that was introduced to solve such problems.

How does Content delivery network CDNs Works?

The logic behind using CDNs to minimise the interval time is simple, minimize the physical distance between the content and you, since the distance is one of the primary reason for the delay, eliminating it should help speed of delivery.

Hence, CDNs places data centres called PoP a.k.a point of presence all around the world to store a cached version of contents in multiple geographical locations, making it physically closer to anyone, anywhere.

Example, when someone in London accesses the California based media service provider Netflix to watch a movie, it is done through a local UK PoP. This is much quicker than having the visitor’s requests to travel across the ocean from the origin server.

Why is it important?

  1. Downtime Protection & Reliability:

By having multiple data centres spread across globally, it ensures easy scalability during sudden spikes in traffic, taking the load off the origin server. CDN architecture is designed to manage a large number of users to access the website without risking that the origin server getting overloaded.

  1. Improved the overall performance of the website:

By using Points of Presence (PoPs), it creates a copy of the content which is made available closer to the user. This directly impacts the performance of the website by reducing the latency in data delivery.

  1. Increased Security:

Aside from eliminating latency, CDN users also benefit from increased security with the increased number of servers, a CDN has to offer things such as DDoS attacks security. Most CDN infrastructure is built to help against such attacks.

  1. Improved SEO:

Google uses speed among other things in their ranking, using Content Delivery Network directly improves SEO ranking of a website.

  1. Better user experience

The most important benefit and a primary objective of using CDN is ultimately to improve the user experience, with accelerated speed in delivery of content, website owners can expect improvement in regular visitors, decrease in bounce rate and a higher clickthrough rate and for e-commerce sites, which all leads to higher rate of conversion.

With all its benefits still the decision to use Content Delivery Network is not necessarily for everyone, especially for the small websites yet to gain heavy traffic or those that need highly secured and monitored data. But if you are building or own a website that attracts high traffic from visitors spread out globally, it is a smart move to get your content allocated everywhere closer to your visitors, wherever they are.

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