Content Delivery Networks, more commonly known as CDNs, are systems of servers located in different places that work together to create a single strong network. These servers provide end users with premium server performance. CDNs are great solutions for any website that transfers large quantities of data but they are an especially great way for webmasters to distribute social websites, downloadable objects, streaming media, and applications.
How CDNs Work
Most CDNs operate as SaaS (Software as a Service) applications, but some larger providers like Microsoft, Akamai and Amazon are utilizing space in datacenters around the globe to create their own networks. Once these networks are established, content, data or media can be housed on several servers. Once a user gets online and requests that data, it is typically delivered by the server that is physically closest to that user. This cuts down on ping time between the servers, reduces bandwidth (and subsequently cost) for the provider and also makes more content available in places it possibly hasn’t been before.
Of course, other factors than geography are accounted for when the network chooses which server will deliver the requested data. CDN’s run on algorithms that factor in several factors to determine which “point of presence” will offer the optimal transfer experience to the end user. These points of presence, also called “POPs,” represent server nodes where data may be stored and accessed.
Business Benefits of Using a CDN
There are several reasons for businesses to use CDN’s to house their web-based data.
- Cost Efficiency: CDNs create tremendous savings compared to investing in infrastructure or relationships with separate providers around the globe.
- Reliability: CDNs enable businesses to increase content delivery speed of their website, eliminate latency issues and avoid server downtime.
- Simplicity: By joining an existing CDN, businesses no longer have to manage multiple relationships with several providers around the world to experience the same benefits.
- Analytics: Businesses who use CDNs benefit from a wealth of available information about user behavior. This information can be used to improve the efficiency of marketing and advertising campaigns, making a CDN an effective way for businesses to increase their ROI.
- Global Reach: Internet usage is increasing all around the globe. CDNs make it possible for businesses to reach global audiences in ways that were never possible before.
Network technology has made tremendous strides in the way of helping businesses become more efficient. When considering ways to improve server performance, enrolling in a CDN is definitely something to think about.