According to Internet World Stats, the growing number of internet users across the globe is estimated to exceed over 3 billion in 2015 and poised to increase constantly. Business enterprises view this as a potential opportunity to reach millions of users across continents and beyond their geographical boundaries. The challenge here is to find ways to deliver content and information to all these users efficiently and quickly. However, while delivering content over vast distances there are many bottlenecks which can affect the performance of web sites. The challenge of providing efficient content can be understood as a three step process:
- A user makes a request. The request will travel to an origin server and the response has to travel back to user, maybe over long distance. This takes time for the user to receive a quick response.
- The slow response times of web content in the internet may be due to network congestion or due to heavy load on the web server. User-perceives the website performance as slow due to the time taken to complete the cycle.
- The connectivity between the user and the internet may be inefficient and this may also cause delays.
Content delivery network (CDN) services provide an ideal solution to improve speedy delivery of content to users for ensuring efficient web performance. CDNs basically replicate content from an origin server to cache servers scattered across different geographic locations throughout the internet. The purpose of caching across different servers is to serve content directly to the user thus significantly reducing page-load time. For example, delays in web page response are not acceptable for e-commerce websites in particular.
Aberdeen Group research report titled “Performance of Web Applications: Customers are gained or lost in one second”, explains that 1 second page delay can result in 16% decrease in customer satisfaction. Further, 1 second delay can impact overall corporate revenue by up to 9%. These figures obtained from their survey show that application performance problems can impact heavily and highlight the need to optimize web applications performance for a pleasant user experience.
CDN is highly essential for organizations interested in global internet connectivity to communicate with consumers. This service is available from data centers or can be implemented in the enterprise network. CDN architecture will ensure that bottleneck issues related to web site performance are overcome by caching and replicating content across multiple servers to serve consumers in their respective geographical locations. Given below are top 5 benefits for companies adopting CDN services in their existing web based applications and infrastructure.
1. Opportunities for global reach: An e-commerce web site catering to customers online with products and services will be able to interact online with customers efficiently thus generating business value. Further CDN services offers content efficiently to any user in any location. This eliminates delays and interruptions in long distance online transactions which impacts business bottom-lines.
2. Better response with reliability: A business enterprise involved in online sales would require speed in order to attract new customers. If pages are slow in loading it can really damage sales and result in poor customer satisfaction. CDNs ensure efficient business operations online to result in better customer satisfaction.
3. Capacity and availability with minimal packet loss: CDNs distribute and replicate content across participating servers dynamically with automatic and instantaneous user re-direction. CDN servers are strategically placed to maximize network capacity and to handle concurrent users efficiently. This ability offers 100% availability of information assets even during network or hardware outages at any one location. From the perspective of the user, web content is available seamlessly without disruptions with high quality of service.
4. Better Analytics and Serviceability: CDNs provide more control of content delivery and network load. It offers valuable analytical information to understand web site usage trends. Analytics will include number of page views, which information are viewed more and show active usage regions to discover the viewing pattern of customers. This can help advertising and marketing analysts to target customers based on their online behaviour. Advertisers use this information to provide better services for online visitors.
5. Cost benefit: The investments made in infrastructure and hosting a web site at multiple locations is eliminated by CDN service. Companies desiring to reach customers beyond their geographical borders benefit greatly because availing CDN service offers a single platform for global reach at less cost.
CDNs accelerate web content across the globe to offer an efficient single-platform for content delivery for enterprises. It simplifies global reach for web sites through high performance delivery of content and assets which leads to user satisfaction and ultimately business value.