Content Delivery Network solutions are viewed as ideal resources to improve website speed. Although CDN is not essential for every single website, one needs to understand the benefits of these solutions and some factors that justify the costs of implementing CDNs.
Brief review of Content Delivery Network
A Content Delivery Network or CDN is basically a geographically dispersed network of servers. The network has a collection of edge servers or CDN nodes that store duplicate content or cache including CSS/JS files, images, and some other structural components.
It should be noted that by placing large number of CDN nodes to provide easy availability of the basic building blocks of website in close proximity of the user, you can obviate extended page load time at the user end since major portion of time is required for retrieval of this content. In a CDN network, user is served the content from an edge server which is closest in proximity thereby providing faster site loading or content download.
Relevance of CDN
The most compelling reason to use a CDN solution is to enhance vital aspects of user experience including site loading speed and availability. CDNs are also used for assured consistency across users from all locations. CDN is essential for websites if the main server is located far away from majority of users.
Therefore users in Asian countries would benefit if a CDN is placed in nearby location and the origin server is in North America. Users need not access the origin server which may be situated across oceans and continents and can easily and instantly get to your site through a CDN. There is a remarkable reduction of latency and assured availability of site in the event of server failure.
CDNs also help distribute load across multiple edge servers to prevent bottlenecking at single origin server. Whether you have a small or medium business, CDN solution can be a highly cost effective resource to improve site availability and loading speeds. CDNs are also useful for prevention of server crashes since there is a fair distribution of load across different server nodes so that a single server is not subjected to handle entire traffic load.
Considering such an impressive array of benefits it is logical to think that CDNs are an absolute necessity. In reality, CDNs are not required for all websites, although it is a fact that a Content Delivery Network is an ideal way to improve site speed and improve overall performance of the website or a web application. In fact there are different ways to boost site speed such as use of caching plugins and so forth. CDN is offered as third party service and is going to influence hosting budget to a great extent.
CDNs can be considered essential for websites that are required to handle extremely heavy traffic. It is also an ideal resource for mission critical websites because CDNs assure availability of applications. Large e-commerce sites are required to provide the most satisfactory website performance to users and therefore such websites should be supported with CDN solutions. CDNs are must for mission critical websites. Adoption of CDN ultimately depends on budget, priorities, and objectives of websites or web applications. Cloud CDNs can also be an important aspect of a website’s overall optimization policy.
Ease of CDN implementation
Cloud CDN can be implemented without any complexities since users need to inform details of the web applications or web pages that need to be cached to the service provider. The site is then configured for sending out requests to handle relevant files. Availability of user friendly plugins on common CMS applications makes it convenient to setup such sites for implementation of CDN. In addition to this there are other tasks involved such as changing domain nameservers or modification of DNS records.
CDN and cost efficiency
In terms of costs, CDNs can range from highly affordable to extremely costly offerings since these are essentially third party solutions. One can build high end and resource Intensive CDN setups for mission critical workloads or can go for highly cost effective CDN applications to cater to small websites.
CDN costs are driven by security or SSL needs, extensibility of reach, and bandwidth just to name a few. One can reduce CDN costs by avoiding CDN nodes in regions that may not be targeted in near future. That being said, one needs to note that CDN applications need not be cost prohibitive. Websites on different budgets can certainly think of adopting suitable CDN solutions.