What is a content delivery network? (CDN)

Running a website does not end when the site has already been launched. As an online store owner creating impact would encompass addressing issues that would be raised by your potential clients. One of which is web page load speed. Optimizing load speed of your website is very important. Take for instance when you’re site is loading too slow, that creates risk on your part since your potential client might be discouraged from visiting your site. Now, if you’re having tons of visitors this can make your server fail. That is why customers encounter issues such as slow response or worse failure to access your site. You will be then losing your customers and thus losing potential profits.
Why does this problem occur? We have to understand that while internet does not appear physically and it can be accessed anywhere the distance is still a big factor.
How does information travels from server to client and vice-versa? First you have to get basic understanding on the terms below:

 Here are some technical terms you need to know:

  •  Packet data – it is the method of transferring stored data by breaking it into small pieces of information called packets.
  •  Latency – it refers to either upload or download time.
  •  Upload –it refers to the time during which a bit is traveling from the client to server
  •  Download – it refers to the time during which a bit is travelling from the server to client.
  •  Round-Trip Time (RTT) – refers to the sum of upload and downloads time.
  •  Packet Loss Ratio – averages lost packets in the course of transmission
  •  Effective Bandwidth – refers to the real upload rate after factoring out the RTT and PLR.

 Bits of information travel at a limited speed. So the greater distance it has to travel the slower the transmission.
When information is accessed it has to travel through routers so when you’re accessing information from a longer distance that means more routers are being used and in the course these routers may lose some packets.

How to solve this issue?

The solution to this problem is Content Delivery Network or CDN for short.

What is CDN?

It distributes the contents of the website like photos, pictures, audio files and many more and put them in a server closer to your customers. These servers are called edge server. These edge servers are scattered around the globe.

How does it work?

  •  When a customer requests a particular file the URL of the file would resolve to the IP address of the closest Edge server.
  •  After the edge server gets the requests it then returns the local copy of the file.
  •  Since the file is made available in a closer server then the transmission travel is much lower which means faster download.

What are different types of CDN?

  •  Push – This type of CDN works by pushing the static content of the server onto the network servers. The idea is that the primary server provides the content to the network servers by pushing it.
  • Pull – This type of CDN works by pulling the file from the primary server. For example, when a customer requests a file the CDN will go the primary server and serve it to the customer. The CDN will cache that file being requested.

How is CDN able to do this? CDN has nodes. CDN nodes are deployed in various locations. So when you are requesting an image from say for instance New York. You will have to send the DNS and then the content delivery network will have to recognize you. The CDN will then be going to find the closes node to New York and then will provide you the image from that node close to you.
Using CDN is better than not using at all. This will help your customers access your files more efficiently and speedy and at the same time it helps you build confidence and trust from them. CDN will benefit your business because it means ‘satisfied customers’. Also it will help your business top the ranking in the search results.
The next question is what type of CDN that is best for your business. Is it Pull of Push CDN? Well, there is no right or wrong choice because either system works for you. They have their own advantages and also disadvantages. However, what is the most important is that you are getting ahead over the others in terms of optimization of your site. With CDN, you have a bigger opportunity to get the vast majority into your site and keep them satisfied. Keeping your data stable and intact is crucial in establishing relationship with your customers.
CDN means better performance it basically allows you to reach as wide people as possible in a short period of time.

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