Where Does a CDN Fit Into Your Application Design?

When performance issues impact your bottom line, there are several ways you can speed up an application. Code optimization, better server resources, and even moving off of shared hosting can help speed up an application. What many organizations fail to realize is that the addition of a CDN can speed up an application more than several other optional changes. The addition of a CDN can do much more for speed than additional server resources or code optimization. While these infrastructure changes do help, a CDN will do much more.

Many businesses struggling to fight performance issues see a CDN as an expensive unnecessary option, but you can pay as you go at a low price per gigabyte of use. In addition to seeing a CDN as an expensive addition, most businesses don’t see the advantages. Here are just a few.

Acceleration of web pages. CDNs cache content on its edge servers, so your customers get content delivery from a data center closest to their location. Instead of only having one server to represent your company pages, you now have dozens located around the globe.

Improved video streaming and file downloads.  Not every application embeds YouTube or Vimeo content. Developers that build their own streaming solution will find that using a CDN greatly improves video quality. With faster delivery, users can download large files including video at a faster rate, and a CDN reduces the skipping and poor quality from slower connections.

Lower costs than added server resources. Server hardware costs thousands upfront. Even if you decide to host in the cloud, the more resources that you add to your host the more money you spend each month. The alternative is to add a CDN to your infrastructure and pay a scalable cost that increases only as traffic and revenue increase as well. Small businesses don’t have to worry about expensive equipment and hosting. Instead, their servers perform at the same speed as a large competitor site application.

Reliability and consistent uptime. With any addition to infrastructure, the first thought is if the new addition will cause any downtime. A CDN offers better reliability than traditional hosting, because data center servers pull content from the origin server and cache it. Although it should not be the only solution for reliability, a CDN can provide support and consistency for content delivery and mitigate downtime.

Flexibility with budget and hosting. A CDN can work with any hosting solution and budget. Since a CDN’s cost scale with traffic, costs only go up when traffic and sales increase. You still maintain the same host, but a CDN offers the flexibility of adding performance without the hassle of moving your hosting solution to a faster service.

In addition to the many benefits of a CDN, configuring service to work with an organization’s hosting is simplified so that an IT administrator or small business owner can implement service. If you’re fighting performance issues, instead of fighting costs and resources, add a CDN to your application’s infrastructure and you will immediately see results in addition to the several other benefits.

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