- Little by little the services of CDN (Content Delivery Network) are becoming important, at the same time that the websites become international meeting points.
In this article we will try to collect all the information that may interest you about CDN services and their operation, let’s talk about some Content Delivery Networks, although always oriented to CDN for web.
A CDN helps us to optimize the load of a website, since most of the static elements are loaded directly from the servers of the CDN located in different parts of the planet, reason why the content will be loaded from the nearest point geographically to visitor.
What is a Content Delivery Network?
A CDN is a network of servers located around the world in different geographic locations that obtain content from a central web server and replicate it, so that when a visitor accesses a web, the static elements replicated on the CDN servers are served from The server of the CDN network closest to the visitor, so the latency times of the requests are theoretically much lower and this greatly improves the loading speed of the entire website.
Guide cdn A web CDN service not only optimizes the way to serve content to visitors, but also allows segmenting and reduce the consumption of resources of the server or hosting that hosts the website.
It will always come out much cheaper to have a CDN service (any) serving the requests than to have a saturated Apache “trying” to serve them at the same rate as a CDN.
An example of the effectiveness of CDN services is that large Internet portals such as YouTube or large blogs like Mashable use CDN services to improve the experience of users who visit the web.
But not only the big websites have to use CDN, little by little CDN services are extending as an advantage for all websites have the traffic they have.
How does a CDN work?
Not all CDNs work in the same way, in fact, we must distinguish between two types of CDN:
- CDN by inverse proxy like CloudFlare or Incapsula where the CDN puts a reverse proxy between the web and the visitor.
- CDN by subdomains like Amazon CloudFront, KeyCDN, MaxCDN or CDN77, where we must configure subdomains that point to an anycast host that offers the CDN service.
Each of these different systems has its advantages and disadvantages, the advantage of reverse proxy-CDNs is that they also allow for code optimizations and global security improvements at the site, while the advantage of CDNs per subdomain is that Facilitate the parallel loading from different nodes in different geographic locations, as well as being much more flexible when adapting its operation to a certain situation.
All nodes or POPs (points of presence) of a CDN, despite being located in different geographical locations, connect to a single central server to take the content, usually to the web server where the website is hosted.
When do we need a CDN for our website?
Not everything is white or everything is black, there is no exact answer to this question if we consider that CDN services are a complement in most cases.
I usually invite everyone to use CDN services, some like CloudFlare or Incapsula are cheap CDN services by reverse proxy that in addition to improving the performance also add a touch of security to the website if we make the proper configuration of the service.
In the last year I have noticed that people are taking into account the CDNs between the options available to optimize a website or to support large volumes of traffic, something that has really impacted me, since two years ago the CDNs were only contemplated for Cases where the traffic is really high and the public is spread geographically.
What we must always take into account is that a CDN offers us the possibility to scale easily, it offers us facilities to grow the technical part of a project without just “detours”, only balancing the load of requests to a CDN service that will always be Available to serve large amounts of traffic, because that’s what they are prepared for.