Content Distribution Networks (CDNs) are simply a network of servers located all over the world that will distribute your content faster, more reliably, and provide redundancy to your website or webhost.
There are many benefits to having a CDN. The most important one is the ability to lower your server load and provide the customer with a quick and pleasurable experience.
They can be leveraged for ecommerce stores, any websites, blogs, and even for video streaming.
This is important, because it will allow your server to serve very little content (if any) while providing your customers with ultra fast viewing of your content. This leads to sales.
All the big boys use it (Netflix, Amazon, NyTimes, BBC, Viacom, MTV, any major website you can name).
So let’s talk about how it works. It’s simple in concept, but a very complex technology to implement correctly.
As a rule, I only implement diagrams when needed in my postings. Here is one case where it is important to actually take the time to draw it out.
So let’s assume your primary content server is in the US. Doesn’t really matter where, but it’s somewhere in the US. For the purposes of this article, I’m going to say Iowa, because Iowa has poor connectivity compared to the major metro areas.
So you really don’t want to serve your content / much less host in Iowa (no offense to Iowans.. Actually, I love people from Iowa, they’re the most honest and real people in the US).
You implement a CDN network and all of your content in “near time” (depends on how it’s set up, it can be minutes, hours, or days) is replicated to the Master CDN server who then redistributes the content to all of the CDN servers throughout the world.
Now let’s say someone from Argentina accesses your web content or just content in general. Going from Iowa to Argentina is a long way and the potential for a horrible connection is exponentially increased with each “hop”. What is a hop? Simply a turn-over from one router to another along the way. You don’t get to choose if the connection goes over wireless, fiber, etc.
Now, if you had a CDN in place, when someone goes to http://yourcontent.com/whatever-your-content-is.whatever The Master CDN server figures out where that user is coming from and immediately delegates your content to be distributed to that customer by the nearest and fastest serving CDN server (remember.. nearest does not always equate to fastest).
There are a series of calculations that take place almost instantaneously (unnoticeable to the content user).
All of the interchange or should i say “most” of the interchange happens with the CDN server while your server handles very little or none of the load. You’ll still get the statistical reporting you need, but you’ve now officially accomplished your goal. To provide a complete experience to your customer that is not only fast and predictable, but extremely pleasant.
If you’re looking for someone to set up CDN services for you, purchase my CDN services here: [wp_eStore_fancy1 id=13]
What you’re paying for: complete implementation, management, and content distribution of your content and of course integration into your original server.