The use of a Content Delivery Network (CDN) is a great way to enhance user experience. The ability to cache content closer to the user is a great way to lower latency. CDN providers are lowering non-cacheable content requirements to provide better caching features. This system works best for users downloading static content.
This enhances the end user experience. It does not address a growing problem. Getting content from Amazon Web Services (AWS) to users with use of a CDN CDN. Accomplishing this task in the fastest way possible is still problematic.
There are two problems. The first is lowering latency to the end user. The second is lowering latency to the CDN. To understand how these interact, need to understand real-time monitoring and content caching.
Real-time monitoring is a misnomer. It is great to say, but in reality real-time is not possible. The best we can get to real-time network monitoring is the time it takes for a network to scan, deliver results, and make decisions based upon those results. When internet traffic is moving at the speed of light (in a perfect world with no latency), events may change by the time there is feedback.
This concept is important, as we all claim real-time monitoring, but the best we are getting is real-time feedback. When discussing optimizing networks, the information provided is delayed, regardless of what service or monitoring is being used.
This is important to our discussion, as CDN’s are pushing content to the edges based upon this data. Also, network routes are optimized based on this data. It is as accurate as possible.
The second concept we need to understand is pushing content to the edges. This is another way to discuss content caching. Pushing content to the edges is moving content as close to the user as possible. Netflix has built an impressive business doing this. This is the basic concept behind the CDN, but some providers do it better than others.
Latency to the End User
Lower latency to the end user has many benefits. The business benefits include faster page loading times, which leads to higher conversion rates. Also, utilizing a CDN improves global availability and reduces needed bandwidth. Static content is best for this structure, as the more dynamic content is, the more frequently it is updated.
Utilizing a CDN can be a huge benefit to network performance, global availability, as well as bandwidth optimization. What this does not address is decreasing latency to the CDN for dynamic content.
Latency to the CDN
Providing data from your cloud provider, such as AWS to a CDN is the new problem. This is the CDN dynamci content delivery problem. The latency issue that is solved with the CDN is one of geographical limitations. CDN dynamic content will still need to move those geographical distances. What this presents, is a network optimization issue. To increase the performance of your network from a cloud provider to a CDN, the network route pattern needs to be optimized.
Decreasing the effects of geographical latency is the benefit of incorporating a CDN into content delivery. Decreasing latency and bandwidth issues is a network optimization problem. Both issues can be addressed.
Download the Content Delivery Network Optimization Whitepaper to learn how to decrease latency and lower your overall CDN costs.