A Content Delivery Network or CDN is a distributed network of servers spread across the world with the objective to hold, share, and provide the quickest delivery of content. It is a group of geographically distributed servers that speed up web content delivery by bringing it closer to users. CDN caches web pages, images, and video in proxy servers near to the user’s physical location that allows users to browse different websites, watch movies and check bank accounts without having to wait for content to load. CDN solutions were created to encounter the network congestion problem caused due to heavy web content like graphics and video over the internet. Accessing content directly from centrally located servers took too long so to solve this problem CDN solution was designed.
For almost 20 years the content delivery network has been the backbone of the internet delivering quick content to users for banking, shopping, healthcare, and other purposes. A significant portion of the world’s internet traffic is carried by CDN and it solves the complex challenges of delivering content over the internet. The content delivery network is used by businesses of every size to provide a seamless web experience to their customers. Originally internet was not designed to handle massive amounts of data, video, and large downloads, so CDN was built to speed up the internet. CDN solutions allow the world’s leading companies and organizations to successfully do business online. The major benefit of the CDN solution is enhanced user experience by reducing latency in accessing real-time data. Some other benefits of CDN solutions include:
High Performance – CDN improves the speed and performance of websites by bringing content closer to the user. If a user is accessing a website or online business that uses a CDN and has preloaded its content across the CDN, then the user can access the new content directly from the servers in their city, saving a huge amount of data.
Availability – CDN makes content available to end users even at the time of excessive traffic when several people are accessing content at the same time or there are server outages in some parts of the internet. At times when internet traffic peaks at millions of requests per second, even the powerful servers get tested and without a CDN it may cause failures and poor end-user experience. CDN is designed in a manner to handle these issues and can absorb immensely heavy web traffic and make content available for larger user bases.
Security – Highly advanced CDNs have made information security a core competency by providing unique cloud-based solutions. Without compromising delivery and availability, CDNs protect content providers as well as users by protecting them against a wide array of attacks.
Data Analytics Access – CDN logs every data that is updated or downloaded and so users get complete access to those analytics reports. Users will be able to see the resources that are often being used.
A good portion of the content on the internet is delivered through Content Delivery Network and this can be well illustrated with an example. If a user in New York wishes to browse the website of his favorite store in London that is hosted on a UK server, then there is a chance that he would experience slow content load times. To solve this problem, the CDN solution can prove effective, as it would store a cached version of the London website content in different geographical locations around the world that is also referred to as points of presence. The points of presence have their own caching servers that are responsible for delivering that content close to where the user is in New York. With content being delivered from a server closer to the user’s physical location, the user will enjoy high performance and a better web experience.
CDN use can also be understood with another example. Suppose a user is interested in streaming the latest Hollywood release on the weekend, then the CDN will find a server on its network to serve up that video and that will be the server closest to the user’s physical location. The cached media file will remain on that CDN server to cater to the user’s request of the same geographic area. However, if the content requested by the user is unavailable or outdated, the CDN solution will store the newly fetched content to cater to future requests. The delivery of website content is not only the purpose of CDN but it also delivers a wide variety of content like HD quality video, audio streams, software downloads, and much more. Any digitized data can be delivered through a content delivery network.
Besides these CDN solutions are also ideal and can be used by e-commerce stores, government websites, financial institutions, mobile applications, media, and publishing houses to quickly and efficiently deliver content even during heavy traffic.
Future Scope of CDN Solution
Though it is tough to predict the future of CDN technologies but it is sure that it may witness exponential growth. The supporting technologies for CDN will keep on developing and need to have enhanced performance, availability, and security. CDN providers adopted a single method to collect PoP performance data that take place through log files. Now CDN solutions are being developed with algorithms and predictive analysis that predict user behavioral patterns based on machine learning. The CDN technology future is about creating a win-win situation for both customers and CDN solution providers’ end clients. Rendering the best user experience for e-commerce businesses is a perfect example, where the needs of the end consumers get satisfied, e-commerce businesses obtain good margins, and CNN providers obtain new revenue sources.