Any Internet service that uses traditional web hosting isn’t getting the most out of their bandwidth. A CDN can improve speed regardless of the size of downloadable files, spike in user traffic, and the type of content served to users. Before you implement a CDN, you might wonder how a CDN offers fast performance. Here are a few items a CDN support for better performance and security.
Web users are more concerned with privacy than they were a decade ago. It’s important that a CDN offers encryption support using SSL or TLS for your public-facing applications. CDNs support SSL/TLS to keep user data secure. Supporting web encryption also protects end users from man-in-the-middle attacks (MitM) attacks.
Support for HTTP/2
Hypertext Transport Protocol (HTTP) is the protocol for transferring data from a web server to a user’s browser. HTTP/2 is the latest version of this protocol that allows SSL and non-HTTPS sites to transfer data. The improvements in HTTP provide better performance and faster transfer of data. CDNs that support this new protocol version offer the fastest speeds available to users and origin servers.
Several Network Locations and Data Centers
A CDN’s Point of Presence (POP) provides the application with several cached instances on edge servers located at a data center. These edge servers deliver content based on the requestor’s location. Instead of having one origin server deliver content from one location, a CDN delivers content from several locations based on the recipients geographic location.
The CDN you choose should have several POPs for faster speeds. Not only can you leverage a data center’s advanced technology, but by using a CDN you also use PoPs for proximity to your users. By providing users with a content delivery system close to their location, it’s delivered much faster. Should one server crash or be unavailable due to network issues, a CDN will deliver content from the next closest location. CDNs provide constant content delivery without the worry of crashed servers or downtime due to broken equipment.
Analytics and Performance
Most traditional hosts don’t offer traffic analytics. You can get analytics using applications embedded on a website, but these applications are mainly for SEO and traffic. A CDN can give you resource usage statistics and performance that gives insight to server performance. These statistics help application developers and site owners detect when resources must be upgraded. CDNs also provide usage statistics on your application as a whole rather than statistics based on user traffic as they access specific pages.
CDNs speed up content delivery by caching static content from an origin server. This content is cached on every edge server across each PoP. When content is old and must be updated after a new deployment, a CDN provides tools to purge this outdated content and force the edge server to download the most recent information. This provides application owners with the ability to ensure that customers receive the latest content from the origin server.
Overall, a CDN speeds up any application regardless of the speed of a traditional origin server. These services are better for security, reliability, integrity of the application, and performance.