Why is CDN very important for your static HTTP content

Almost everyone heard about CDN but what that actually is?

Explained: CDN (Content delivery network) is the set of geographically distributed servers (proxy servers if you like) that cache the static content on running physical hardware which speeds up the actual download to its destination.

The global CDN network
The global CDN network in Example

Now, let me explain why the CDN network is such a big player in the Solution infrastructure and why no Solution developer/architect should overlook this.

But before we go any further let me mention another term which is: response latency.

Explained: In other words, the time needed for to download the Website content entirely to the consumer (End-user) device.

And as you can imagine, this is another very important factor to have your eye on if want to keep your audience engaged to service provided content as long as possible.

Low latency means a better User responsiveness/experience with the Website (Web service).

The question is, how to achieve the lowest latency possible? … there are two ways how to do it:

  • to use a very fast network for content delivery, or
  • to cache the content as closely as possible geographically to your audience

… the combination of both of these is the ultimate state towards which the global network is going (near real-time response).

And as all of you probably understand by now, to get the best ROI in the time you put into the content it is very important to have your infrastructure in the best shape possible. Keeping your visitors happy by serving them content as fast as possible helps to build better Website awareness and audience growth.

What CDN service provider I use?

Among all of the CDN providers, I have came across, Cloudflare is the one I was attracted most.

.. for many reasons:

The main one is that the service is offering a reasonably good DDoS protection shielding and well distributed and fast CDN server nodes.

Cloudflare account dashboard

To me, it is almost unbelievable that all of that for as much as $0! Yes, all of that can be yours for FREE! Very sweet deal, don’t you think? (btw, I am not participating on any affiliate program!)

Setting all of that up is a really straightforward and well-documented process.

If you want to know more visit this guide of how to set it all up.

The entire configuration process becomes even easier if having a domain name address purchased separately from the Web hosting (easier to maintain the DNS servers configuration over Domain name provider portal – which every solid domain name provider has).

Some another feature Cloudflare provides is the fast route finder across the Cloudflare network called Argo, which helps to decrease loading time and reduces bandwidth costs.

I have been using this service for one of my clients who is providing Address lookup and Address validation services over REST API web services hosted in Cloud in multiple geographically different data centres and I must say that the customer experience was very positive since.

In numbers, I was able to reduce an HTTP response latency time down from 1.4s to 0.5s! And these are very good performance improvements for a business where time is the essence.

I am leaving this link here if interested to know more about this.

Anyway, thank you again for visiting this post, I hope you have enjoyed reading and let me know what CDN provider you’re using!

/cheers