In-house infrastructure can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars, but the cloud has given even small businesses the opportunity to harness enterprise equipment. A CDN is a cost-effective way to add availability, integrity and security to infrastructure. Administrators can still support an in-house environment but adding a CDN to public-facing applications will improve speed and availability.
Improving Performance at a Low Cost
A cheap CDN can make a huge difference in the performance of your applications for several reasons. First, the business can leverage advanced infrastructure located within a CDN’s point of presence (PoP) data center locations. It’s expensive to keep hardware and applications up-to-date, but with a CDN performance is a main advantage at a low cost.
CDN infrastructure is maintained by data center employees, so the business doesn’t need to spend thousands in upgrades. Infrastructure in a CDN is some of the fastest equipment on the market, so it’s a speed boost for a business application.
When you choose a CDN, its PoP locations matter. These locations house edge servers where customer data is cached. PoPs are strategically placed on each continent so that the CDN can cater to any users around the globe. Although data transfer speeds are fast, bringing users closer to a content delivery server makes data transfer even faster.
Edge servers cache content from the main origin server. When you incorporate a CDN, the CDN’s edge server pulls data from the main application server located at the business host provider or in-house infrastructure. Content is pulled from main origin servers, stored on local CDN servers and cached. Cached content is delivered faster than if it must be processed and pulled from databases and returned to users.
Content Delivery and User Requests
Any public-facing application suffering from speed issues can benefit from a CDN. It’s simple to configure a CDN to work with a public web server, and the performance boost is immediate after the application is configured to work with the CDN.
When users request content, instead of sending the request to the origin server, the request is sent to the nearest CDN edge server. These edge servers are fast and cache content for quicker delivery. By distributing requests to different data centers, the application doesn’t suffer from performance issues during launch dates. When a new release is deployed, it’s not uncommon for a developer to see a large spike in Internet traffic. With a CDN, these requests are now distributed across several servers that manage traffic spikes using load balancers.
With users closer to edge servers, content delivery is much faster than should they request it from servers thousands of miles away. Combine closer geographic locations to users, cached content and advanced cloud equipment, a CDN always brings better performance to an application.
CDN costs are based on the amount of bandwidth and traffic you need, so costs scale with the popularity of the application. With scalable costs, a developer can improve performance while sticking to a strict IT budget.