For any online business having performance issues, adding a CDN into the mix of server resources and fast hosting will speed up applications immediately. You can’t just add a CDN to infrastructure without a plan. It’s also good to identify performance issues and audit speed after changes are made to infrastructure to see the value of a CDN to your overall metrics.
Distance Always Affects Speed
Data over fiber travels at the speed of light, but even this speed is affected by distance. A user on the other side of the globe will see a performance difference compared to a user in the same geographic area as your hosted server.
Years ago, this issue wasn’t a problem for most applications, because many online stores catered to a local market. Now, businesses can ship orders to anyone in any country around the globe, so they need an application that’s fast regardless of a user’s location. This is where a CDN is helpful and can improve performance without requiring any expensive server resources.
A CDN has data centers at locations where a majority of users are located in different geographic areas. By hosting content on a CDN, you move data from a location thousands of miles away from potential customers to a data center within a few hundred miles. The difference is noticeable immediately buy users accessing your application.
Additional CDN Benefits
What’s often left out of CDN deployment plans are the two additional benefits that a CDN brings. The first one is SSL termination that protects from some cyber security attacks. For some content, the CDN does not cache the information but instead passes requests from a data center directly to the client’s origin server. This “middle man” activity protects he origin server from some malicious attacks such as DDoS.
Scalability is usually an unforeseen benefit but it’s one of the best advantages of using a CDN. With traditional hosting, you must constantly watch for any traffic spikes. Even if you consistently monitor traffic levels, it takes time to implement additional resources and roll out changes. You then pay for additional resources when traffic drops during slow seasons. A CDN remedies high spikes as well as scales down when traffic drops.
CDNs can handle a large spike in traffic that would otherwise stall a traditionally hosted server. Site crashes can ruin a launch for a new application or game, but with a CDN your bandwidth and speed stay consistent without the performance lag from high traffic days.
Adding a CDN to Your Infrastructure
Most site owners think the cost to add a CDN to infrastructure is expensive, but you can pay as you go or pay a monthly payment to cover your traffic needs. Configuring a CDN doesn’t take much technology know-how, and it can be done by your administrator or a site owner that handles server management themselves.
Because a CDN scales with traffic, the pay as you go plan is the best for startups. It’s a small price to have some security protection and faster speeds for customers.