Why use a Content Delivery Network

Media Entertainment Tech Outlook | Monday, July 19, 2021

CDNs are essential for businesses that depend on distributing content to users across the globe.

FREMONT, CA: A Content Delivery Network (CDN) works by offering alternative server nodes for users to download resources. Therefore, these nodes are spread throughout the globe, therefore being geographically closer to the users and ensuring a quick response and download time of content due to less latency. While CDNs are an apt solution for most websites looking for speed enhancements, not every site necessarily requires one. It is essential to understand how CDNs work and, ultimately, if the advantages are worth the cost of adding one.

A CDN works by bringing content to the geographic location of the end-users. It does this through located data centers known as Points of Presence (PoPs). These are data centers around the world, and within each PoP are thousands of caching servers. Both the PoPs and servers enhance connectivity and boost the speed at which content is delivered to the end-user. When a CDN is leveraged, the content can be gathered in the local PoPs set up closer to the end-user. These PoPs cache the files on the page and offer it to the end-user in much less time when requested, enhancing page load speed. If the CDN does not have the files requested, it will load from the origin as required.

CDNs are particularly useful when websites have dynamic content. For such web pages, CDNs generate a superhighway to boost content delivery across a longer distance. An individual ISP cannot offer this. CDN Caching is a vital part of what makes content delivery networks work. It is the process of storing a copy of files offered to a user the first time and reusing those stored copies of the assets for subsequent requests instead of the original files. In a CDN, the edge servers are where the data is gathered.

The main advantages of using CDNs involve bandwidth and latency reduction. Latency refers to the time it takes for web pages to load. By moving and storing website content closer to the users, CDNs assist in mitigating page load times and optimizing the browsing experience.