Although Content Delivery Network (CDN) is to reveal all of its true power in the future decades, an insight into how it came to be is quite useful. CDNs are surrogate web servers distributed across different data centers in different geographical regions to deliver content to end-users, based on proximity of this user. Thus, using a CDN hosting system instead of a standard one, offers a cost-effective solution for an online vendor, or an e-commerce owner, to keep his impatient customers satisfied.
It also means the faster performance of a hosted website and a better security from hacker attacks. This is because CDNs maintain multiple Points of Presence, i.e. servers store copies of identical content and and apply a mechanism that provides logs and information to the origin servers. Instead of a standard client-server communication, two communication flows are used. Between client and the surrogate server, and then between the surrogate server and the origin server.
To sum it up, CDNs keep:
The development of content delivery networks sought to deal with extreme bandwidth pressures, first as video streaming was growing in demand as well as the number of content providers. That was in the past. Now, CDNs are a continual trend, with the emergence of cloud computing, involving all the layers of cloud computing:
The first generation CDNs were not encountered before the late 90’s. However, some technological innovations that preceded this generation of CDNs, such as server farms, hierarchical caching, caching proxy deployment and so on, were crucial for paving the ground of the desired infrastructure of such internet un-clogging technology.
First Generation CDNs were designed to address the higher demand for audio and video streaming, to accelerate websites, to support growing volumes of content. Finally to enable the companies providing products or services to handle all requests from the Internet users, and still not face a significant loss in revenue while dealing with their IT infrastructure.
The main focus of a second generation CDNs however was a peer to peer production, cloud computing and energy awareness. Also, serving the demand of the internet crowd for more – interactivity. And not only from their desktop browser, but also their mobile devices. Also, many many ISPs, telcos, IT companies and traditional broadcasters spread across the globe. Some moved into the CDN industries themselves (Amazon, AT&T).
The third generation CDNs are expected to be completely community driven. Autonomous and self-manageable. Its main focus, the quality of experience for the end-user.