The content delivery network (CDN) is a large distributed system of servers deployed in multiple data centers across the Internet. The goal of a content delivery network is to serve content to end-users with high availability and high performance. CDNs serve a large fraction of the Internet content today, including web objects (text, graphics and scripts), downloadable objects (media files, software, documents), applications (e-commerce, portals), live streaming media, on-demand streaming media, and social networks.
In order to understand what a Content delivery network is and why it might be usefull, we must first get a bit more in depth on how the Internet works. Every one of us is able to surf and download contents easily using smartphones, tables and computer, but where exaclty the web pages and their content are, might still be a mistery for most of the end users. The Internet is basically a network of networks. Imagine each of these networks being composed either of servers hosting contents of specific webpages or collecting end user interested in the content of the webpages. The internet allows those two different networks to communicate and exchange information even if they are on different sides of the planet. It makes all this possible through a series of backbone networks and public network cables that are distributed arount the globe allowing Internet operators to reach each others.
A complex layer of protocols, cables and routers regulate where the traffic from a specific source should reach a destination, but even if this might sound incredible by itself, it is often not enough because not all the connections have the same speed and as you can probably imagine the further you are from a specific network, the longer it will take to access to a specific website depending on how fast the connections between your network and the remote one are. If a request for a specific video needs to go thruough 4 different networks to reach the origin of the content, the speed perceived by the end user is the speed of the slowest of the 4 networks, because no matter how fast the other 3 are, the content will still have to go thruough the slowest one before reaching the final destination.
Keeping this example in mind, it is clear that the faster the connections are and the smallest is the number of networks in between the source and the destination of the content, the better and the faster will the end user’s perception be. A content delivery network tries to give a solution to this problem bringing the contect the closer possible to the end user.
A content delivery network is a system of distributed servers (networks) that deliver contents (webpages, videos, images, etc…) to end users based on its geographic location. The advantage of adopting this type of technology is to effective speed the delivery of content of websites with high traffic and websites that have global reach. The closer the CDN server is to the user geographically, the faster the content will be delivered to the user. It is of course a kind of technology that is usefully mainly for companies whose target is not only local, but global. Let’s give a better idea of how a CDN works. A content delivery network copies the content of a website to a network of servers that are distributed at geographically different locations, caching the contents of the page.
When a user requests that specific content, the CDN will redirect the request from the originating site’s server to a server in the content delivery network that is closest to the user and deliver the cached content. This process is transparent to the user and gives him the perception of a better response time of the requested webpage. CDNs are used by organizations to accelerate static content, dynamic content, mobile content, ecommerce transactions, video, voice, games and so on.
If you would like to have more information and you think Akamai CDN could be usefull for your business, do not hesitate and contact us! One of our experts will follow you and advice you to find the best solution for your specific case.