- November 16, 2020
- 2 minute read
A Content Delivery Network (CDN) is a globally distributed network of web servers whose purpose is to provide faster delivery, and highly available content. The content is replicated throughout the CDN so it exists in many places all at once. A client accesses a copy of the data near to the client, as opposed to all clients accessing the same central server, in order to avoid bottlenecks near that server.
To put it more simply, the purpose of a CDN is to improve user experience and provide it with a more efficient network resource utilization. Content providers such as media companies and e-commerce vendors pay CDN operators to deliver their content to their audience, that is, end-users. In turn, a CDN pays ISPs, carriers and network operators for hosting servers in their data centers. There are two key mechanisms that explain how CDN functions:
Other than better performance, CDNs also offload the traffic served directly from the content provider’s origin infrastructure, resulting in possible cost savings for the content provider. They are also effective against DDoS attacks, since they provide their own large distributed server infrastructure to absorb the volume of the attack.
We've received a lot of questions from our clients about CDN's, so we decided to create this brief overview of the most asked questions and our answers.
Modern CDNs bring 2 major benefits to websites :
During the early days of CDNs assets go delivered via the CDN domain. As an example: Your website is www.myshop.com, and you have an asset called fancy-product.jpg. Your CDN was goodoldcdn.net. So the asset was reachable via something like
Since a few years CDNs can be set up inline using the CNAME record of your FQDN. This means that your DNS hold a record like this :
www.myshop.com CNAME myshop.shinynewcdn.net
The asset, even though its delivered via the CDN, show up as www.myshop.com/fancy-product.
But there is more: Remember in Q1, the CDN decreases the loadtime and boosts the performance ? This means that the Google crawler will be able to scan more pages in one session. This is one of the key indicators for Google that your site is relevant and professional => better SEO.
So the answer is that modern CDNs will help to improve your SEO.
During the last years quite a lot happened in the internet protocol in order to improve the performance and the security : HTTP/2 boosts the download of the assets, IPv6 becomes more and more a standard, Brotli compresses data on a new level. And there is way more in the pipeline.It's hard to keep up with the newest technology.
But here comes the good news: using a CDN you can lean back and benefit from the newest tech by clicking one button.
There is one thing you need to adopt in case you have a fraud protection system running, this is a common tool if you run a shop. As your clients connect to the CDN and the CDN to your origin, all transactions will show up with the CDN’s IP range. So your fraud detection would go wild as all payments come basically from one IP address. In those cases simply tell the fraud detection to use the XFF header sent by the CDN, most vendors nowadays send the true client IP in a dedicated header.
A Content Delivery Network (CDN) is a globally distributed network of web servers whose purpose is to provide faster delivery, and highly available content to end users.
If you have any questions about how we can help you choose and implement a CDN, contact us today to help you out with your performance and security needs.