Benefits of Using a CDN
Advantages of content delivery networks for end-users as well as website owners.
CDNs emerged over 15 years ago. However, they did not immediately catch on until recently. Although the technology has improved over the years, the general concept has remained the same — cache, store, and distribute your content to end-users based on their proximity. These days CDNs are being used more often because of the massive amount of content that consumes a large amount of resources. You’ve probably heard the words website acceleration, content replication, page speed optimization etc. Well, this is actually the same thing with a little marketing spin.
The Advantages for End-users
Less latency. Less packet loss. Increased reliability.
Latency measure the time delay experienced by a system. Therefore, in a network that sends and receives packets, the lower the latency the faster the packets of information are sent and received. Since CDNs place servers at popular locations across the globe and feature duplicate content, the latency is significantly lowered because users are almost always close to one of those servers.
Less Packet Loss
Similarly, because the servers are closer to the user there is less of a chance of sent packets failing because they will arrive quicker and over a shorter distance. This will result in less jitter, significantly improved video streaming quality and fewer network peaks and surges. Those in less populated areas will experience some of the best performance and quality of content.
Users viewing content through a CDN are likely to experience increased reliability with regards to operators delivering HD quality videos while maintaining a high quality of service. Many CDNs utilize acceleration technology which further increases the performance and reliability of all content within that system.
The Advantages for Website Owners
100% availability. Lower network load. Lower delivery costs. Higher quality of service.
One of the critical benefits to website owners is a 100% content availability. Since the content is duplicated to many other servers across the globe, if one or even ten go down, there are still many remaining that can provide the exact same content. Therefore, with the exception of a global catastrophe, regional disasters will not cause downtime with regards to content availability.
Lower Network Load
Network loads are always on the minds of server operators and often website owners. The lower the network loads the higher the performance. Network loads are typically higher during peak times due to the number of visitors on a server consuming resources thus decreasing performance for all others. By redirecting visitors to edge servers, the network load is much more balanced. In addition, the ability to have more users viewing a page without network disruption will greatly increase revenues.
Lower Delivery Costs
CDNs also lower delivery costs. Since CDNs cause a balance by diverting traffic to edge servers, the capacity available from each server frees up due to a decrease in the number of viewers of specific content. The loading of all traffic is not placed on a single backbone, it is distributed to edge servers to evenly distribute the load. As a result, you can cut your content delivery costs.
Higher Quality of Service
With regards to networking, Quality of Service (QoS) is the ability to provide different priorities to different users, applications and data flows to confirm a specified level of performance to that data flow. In this case, the QoS guarantees a specific bit rate, jitter, delay, packet dropping probability and error rate. The higher the QoS the lower the number of issues that can occur during data transfer.
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