A content delivery network is a way of managing a high volume of traffic and reducing latency that runs multiple caches of the website to handle the traffic. A centralized server, in this case a cloud hosting solution, can direct traffic through the CDN and provide the CDN with additional resources or data that it doesn’t have.
What is a CDN?
A CDN is a content delivery network. It is a way of using an edge computing solution, putting computers closer to the access points where different users are trying to use the website. A content delivery network has different pages of a site on a network of servers that are located in different places. It uses caches of page contents.
How Does a CDN Work With Cloud Hosting?
Clouds have locations where they are being managed with physical servers. When someone wants to access a website that’s on the cloud, they have to send and receive requests to that central server. The originating server has an amount of latency that enters into the communication between the user and the site.
A CDN allows the originating server to manage requests from different users through different duplications of the site that are on the network. The CDN lowers the strain on the originating server and also lowers latency.
Companies that want to run a huge site will put their CDN servers in strategic geographic locations that are spread across places where they get a lot of traffic. If you know that most of your users come out of North America, you will create the CDN around the North American geographic location.
Setting up a CDN
Because the CDN is location-based, you’ll have to know a little something about your traffic before you set one up. You could, of course, just drop additional cache servers in locations that you expect to get a lot of traffic from. But this is less efficient. You’ll have to see where traffic is and set up additional cache servers along the way.
Advantages of Using a CDN with Cloud Hosting
A CDN can improve the overall speed and performance of your site by mitigating the stress on the center server. Any traffic that shows up on your site can be redirected to the CDN servers that have cached resources. Additionally, bandwidth can be saved because the traffic is distributed.
Keep in mind that most large websites use CDNs in order to keep their main server from taking the brunt of the traffic. Additionally, because CDNs are able to use edge computing to keep computations closer to the source, the latency of the hosting solution decreases. Because the hosting solution has lower latency, you’ll get a higher speed with cloud hosting.
Handling a Ton of Traffic
Putting up a huge server or cloud solution to handle all traffic from a central solution is actually not a very effective way to support a website. Using a content distribution network can mitigate the strain on the central server.
Additionally, some sites get spikes of traffic when something hit-worthy and viral-worthy happens on their site. If you’ve got additional versions of that content running on your CDN, you can deliver that precise content far more efficiently.
Avoiding Spam and DDoS
Also, the CDN helps understand what is real traffic and what isn’t real traffic. When you’re using a CDN, it can distribute DDoS attacks before they hit the originating server. It keeps bad traffic and spam to a minimum.
CDNs often use a bunch of security measures that go far beyond DDoS prevention. They also prevent bots from using up the data on your originating server, and they also have hacking prevention and encryption.
When you use a cache, you get data moving a lot quicker and you use a lot less bandwidth through your cloud host. Cloud hosting solutions often have bandwidth limitations to prevent the single site from overloading the cloud. Caches and duplicates of your webpages help prevent bandwidth overloads.
Visibility and SEO
This is sort of a secondary effect, but speed is a factor that determines the search engine position of your website. If you have slow load speeds and high bounce rates, you’ll get docked in the rankings and fall off the charts.
Yes, a CDN can help a cloud hosting solution handle spikes in traffic or handle a bunch of traffic that is coming from different locations. A CDN helps you reduce latency and handle lots of users by placing strategic cache servers in various locations. Originating servers can redirect traffic toward the closest server.