What is a Content Delivery Network, and How Does It Work?

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Content Delivery Network

A quick-loading website is essential for any business owner. Visitors depart a sluggish site quickly, with the bounce rate surpassing 40% for pages that take five seconds or more to load.

Given that page speed has a significant influence on Search Engine Optimization (SEO), if a website is functioning poorly, a quick solution is required.

Using a Content Delivery Network (CDN) – a network of servers around the world that hosts copies of the website — is one technique to speed up the site. This can help the website in a number of ways, including improving its performance.

According to Statista, global online CDN traffic is anticipated to increase from 54 EB per month in 2017 to 252 EB per month in 2020.

What exactly is a Content Delivery Network (CDN)?

A content delivery network (CDN) is a geographically distributed set of servers that collaborate to provide Internet material quickly.

Content delivery methods provide for the quick distribution of assets needed for Internet content loading, such as HTML pages, javascript files, stylesheets, images, and videos.

Content delivery network (CDN) services are growing increasingly popular, and the majority of web traffic, including traffic from major sites such as Facebook, Netflix, and Amazon, is now delivered via CDNs.

What Are the Advantages of Utilizing a CDN?

Although the advantages of utilizing a content delivery network (CDN) vary based on the size and demands of an Internet site, the key advantages for most users may be divided into four categories:

1# Increasing webpage loading times

Users experience quicker page loading times by delivering material closer to website visitors via a nearby CDN server. As visitors are more likely to leave a slow-loading site, a CDN may lower bounce rates and enhance the amount of time users spend on the site.

2# lowering bandwidth costs

The cost of bandwidth used for website hosting is a major expense for websites. Through caching and other advancements, content delivery networks can reduce the amount of data that an origin server needs to give, cutting hosting costs for website owners.

3# Increasing the availability and redundancy of content

Large amounts of traffic or hardware failures may cause a website’s normal functionality to be disturbed.

Due to its distributed structure, a content delivery network can handle more traffic and withstand hardware failure than many origin servers.

4# Enhancing website security

A CDN may increase security by offering DDoS mitigation, security certificate upgrades, and other optimizations.

Choosing the Right Content Delivery Network

Website owners must decide which sort of CDN network to use. Customers can select between public and private networks, and certain CDN networks link with the online video Platform, providing capabilities that improve video delivery.

Customers should also consider the following factors:

  • High definition video has grown in popularity, but not all  content delivery network (CDN) networks support it.
  • Transcoding alters the code to make films compatible with specific players like Silverlight, Flash, Quicktime, and iDevice. Customers must select appropriate players for their CDN.
  • Customers increasingly place a high value on mobile delivery, thus website owners must understand whether their CDN supports it.
  • Digital Rights Management is required for licensed or protected content, such as Pay-Per-View.
  • Analytics capabilities of content delivery networks are becoming increasingly critical in real-time for many applications, therefore owners must evaluate possible CDN networks for their analytic and reporting skills.

How does a CDN function?

content delivery network

A content delivery network (CDN) is a network of servers linked together to distribute material as rapidly, inexpensively, reliably, and securely as feasible.

A CDN will install servers at the points of exchange between multiple networks to boost speed and connection.

These Internet exchange points (IXPs) are the principal places where different Internet service providers connect to give each other access to traffic originating on their respective networks.

A CDN provider can cut costs and transit times for high-speed data transmission by connecting to various high-speed and highly linked sites.

Aside from the placement of servers at IXPs, a CDN optimizes normal client/server data transfers.

Content delivery networks locate data centers in strategic locations around the world, improve security, and are designed to withstand various types of failures and Internet congestion.

Reliability and redundancy: How can a CDN ensure that a website is always available?

Uptime is essential for everyone who owns an Internet site. Hardware problems and traffic surges caused by malicious assaults or just increased popularity have the ability to bring a web server down and prohibit users from accessing a site or service.

A well-rounded CDN will include the following capabilities to reduce downtime:

  • Load balancing spreads network traffic equally across several servers, making it easier to handle traffic spikes.
  • Intelligent failover ensures that service is maintained even if one or more CDN servers fail due to hardware failure; the failover can transfer traffic to other operating servers.
  • If an entire datacentre experiences technical difficulty, Anycast routing redirects traffic to another accessible datacentre, ensuring that no users lose access to the website.

Data Security: How can a CDN protect data?

A CDN’s information security is an essential component. A CDN may keep a site safe by renewing TLS/SSL certificates, ensuring a high level of authentication, encryption, and integrity.

Popular Content Delivery Network (CDN) Examples

Coral Content Delivery Network, FreeCast, CloudFare, and Incapsula are examples of free content distribution networks. Companies that have popular commercial content delivery networks include:

Conclusion

Contracting content delivery network services allows website owners to reduce picture, file, and media delivery times, enhance search results, and build client loyalty.

A CDN service could be more expensive than single-server hosting, but the benefits would far outweigh the cons.

Content delivery networks distribute content via hundreds of strategically placed servers, finding the optimum routes based on geographic distance and Internet traffic.

Secure SSL certificates provide military-grade protection to secure the financial information of consumers.

If you are looking to supercharge your website speed and security, Exabytes can provide you with a Cloudflare web performance booster to help you get a significant improvement in your website overall performance and security.

To get more information, contact us.

Related articles:

How Cloudflare’s Contribution to Fast and Secure Websites 

The Best WordPress Performance Hacks You’ll Ever Need

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