Category Archives: CDN

Top 5 Benefits of CDN Adoption

When a website is slow to respond, users are mostly likely to lose interest and may not visit that site again. Content delivery networks offers to solve the problem of poor response and low performance of websites, even though the performance of websites depends on many factors such as internet connectivity at user end or network congestion and so on. Adopting CDN services will certainly help enterprises and online businesses to efficiently deliver content for users anywhere on the world-wide-web.

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.

Content Delivery Network and its Business Benefits

Content Delivery Networks (CDN) accounts for large share of delivering content across websites users and networks across the globe. The content found in the websites of today contain a variety of formats such as text, scripts, documents, images, software, media files, live streaming media and on-demand streaming media and so on. In order to deliver such diverse content to users across the globe efficiently, CDNs are deployed in datacenters. CDNs accelerate website performance and provide a numerous benefits for users and also for the network infrastructure.

The internet is a collection of numerous networks or datacenters. The growth of the world-wide-web and related technologies along with proliferation of wireless technologies, cloud computing, etc. is leveraging users to access the internet with multiple devices in addition to computers. Web servers deployed in networks on the internet cater to most of the user requests on the internet. But, when web servers are located in one single location it becomes increasingly difficult to handle multiple workloads. This has an effect on website performance and efficiency is reduced significantly. Further, users access a variety of applications such as interactive multimedia apps, streaming audio and video along with static and dynamic web pages across millions of websites which require efficient and robust network infrastructures and systems. In order to balance the load on infrastructures and to provide content quickly to end users CDNs are deployed in data centers.

Content Delivery Networks (CDN) is a system of servers deployed in different geographical locations to handle increased traffic loads and reduce the time of content delivery for the user from servers. The main objective of CDN is to deliver content at top speed to users in different geographic locations and this is done by a process of replication. CDNs provide web content services by duplicating content from other servers and directing it to users from the nearest data center. The shortest possible route between a user and the web server is determined by the CDN based on factors such as speed, latency, proximity, availability and so on. CDNs are deployed in data centers to handle challenges with user requests and content routing.

CDNs are used extensively by social networks, media and entertainment websites, e-commerce websites, educational institutions, etc. to serve content quickly to users in different locations. Organizations by implementing CDN solutions stand to gain in many ways that include,

  • Faster content load / response time in delivering content to end users.
  • Availability and scalability, because CDNs can be integrated with cloud models
  • Redundancy in content, thus minimizing errors and there is no need for additional expensive hardware
  • Enhanced user experience with CDNs as they can handle peak time loads
  • Data integrity and privacy concerns are addressed

The benefits of CDNs are more emphasized by examining its usage in a few real time application areas. Some common application areas include,

  • E-Commerce: E-commerce companies make use of CDNs to improve their site performance and making their products available online. According to Computer World, CDN provides 100% uptime of e-commerce sites and this leads to improved global website performance. With continuous uptime companies are able to retain existing customers, leverage new customers with their products and explore new markets, to maximize their business outcomes.
  • Media and Advertising: In media, CDNs enhance the performance of streaming content to a large degree by delivering latest content to end users quickly. We can easily see today, there is a growing demand for online video, and real time audio/video and other media streaming applications. This demand is leveraged by media, advertising and digital content service providers by delivering high quality content efficiently for users. CDNs accelerate streaming media content such as breaking news, movies, music, online games and multimedia games in different formats. The content is made available from the datacenter which is nearest to users’ location.
  • Business Websites: CDNs accelerate the interaction between users and websites, this acceleration is highly essential for corporate businesses. In websites speed is one important metric and a ranking factor. If a user is far away from a website the web pages will load slowly. Content delivery networks overcome this problem by sending requested content to the user from the nearest server in CDN to give the best possible load times, thus speeding the delivery process.
  • Education: In the area of online education CDNs offer many advantages. Many educational institutes offer online courses that require streaming video/audio lectures, presentations, images and distribution systems. In online courses students from around the world can participate in the same course. CDN ensures that when a student logs into a course, the content is served from the nearest datacenter to the student’s location. CDNs support educational institutes by steering content to regions where most of the students reside.

In the internet, closer is always better to overcome problems in latency and performance, CDNs are seen as an ideal solution in such situations. Since CDNs share digital assets between nodes and servers in different geographical locations, this significantly improves client response times for content delivery. CDN nodes or servers deployed at multiple locations in data centers also take care of optimizing the delivery process with users. However, the CDN services and the cost are worked out in SLAs with the data center service provider.