Evaluating CDN Performance

 

You might already know that a CDN speeds up your site, but how do you test and evaluate performance after deploying your configurations? Certain aspects of your site can be tested using online tools, so you can identify if a CDN has improved site speed or you need more bandwidth and resources for even better performance.

Before You Test

Before you test, you should know the ideal environment. Your environment depends on business and your clients. You should first identify your audience. You should have an estimation of where the majority of your visitors come from whether it’s the US, Europe or Australia. Catering to your largest audience will help you test from the right locating.

Another preliminary step is finding a good use case. Your use case should indicate how users work with your site. For instance, if you have a game and offer downloads for your users, then you want to test the speed and performance of downloads from your users’ location. Caching and faster distribution of downloads is one advantage of CDNs.

Latency Tests

Latency is the term given to the time it takes for data to reach users from your servers. Gamers call this aspect of speed “ping times.” You need low latency for your users, especially if you host gaming content. Poor latency slows all aspects of your site including downloads and response times for your applications.

The lower the latency, the faster your application. Latency also depends on time of the day and peak traffic times. Your users will experience higher latency during peak hours, but this can be reduced by distributing content across data centers with a CDN.

Throughput Tests

Throughput tests identify the amount of data that you can send in a given amount of time. If you have downloads that users must send or receive for your application, you want as much throughput as possible. Contrary to latency tests that should have as low a number as possible, you want high throughput values when you run your tests.

Throughput depends on your users’ bandwidth and ISP too, so these tests won’t be completely accurate if you’re testing on a fast corporate network, but you can gain insight on your servers, CDN data center and the time it should take for your users to download large files.

Availability Tests

Nothing is more frustrating for users than a site that constantly crashes. You can remedy this issue but using a CDN and ensuring that it has high availability, meaning your users should always be able to connect and receive data at any time of the day. Availability is what makes CDNs beneficial for site owners that have a hard time keeping servers maintained and available during certain times of the day.

Should a CDN’s data center have a critical outage, traffic is rerouted to the closest available data center to the user. This benefit alone keeps your users satisfied without your business losing money on critical downtime.

CDN.net has numerous ways to monitor, review and protect your application. You can find any performance issues by using reporting features in the intuitive control panel, and use automatic failover should any data center or server fail.

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