CDN is short for Content Delivery Network.
A CDN is a system of distributed servers (network) that deliver webpages and other Web content to a user based on the geographic locations of the user, the origin of the webpage and a content delivery server.
This service is effective in speeding the delivery of content of websites with high traffic and websites that have global reach. The closer the CDN server is to the user geographically, the faster the content will be delivered to the user. CDNs also provide protection from large surges in traffic.
- Speed - Greatly improved site load time.
- Crash resistance - CDN allows you to distribute the load to multiple servers instead of having 100% load on your main server thus making it less likely to crash.
- Improved user experience - A faster site means an improved user experience. An improved experience translates into a decline in bounce rate, and increase in page views, and number of pages viewed per user.
- Improvement in SEO - Google has clearly stated that faster sites tend to rank higher in Search Engines. CDN makes your site faster, so you need it for your site if you want to rank higher in search engines.
How it works
Servers nearest to the website visitor respond to the request. The CDN copies the pages of a website to a network of servers that are dispersed at geographically different locations, caching the contents of the page. When a user requests a webpage that is part of a content delivery network, the CDN will redirect the request from the originating site’s server to a server in the CDN that is closest to the user and deliver the cached content. The CDN will also communicate with the originating server to deliver any content that has not been previously cached.
The process of bouncing through a CDN is nearly transparent to the user. A CDN reduces hops and lowers latency. On average, a request is fewer than 10 hops and takes less than 30ms. The result? Your website gains a global presence on an affordable budget.
The CDN Skunkworks uses operates out of 86 data centers around the world. The CDN automatically caches your static files at edge nodes so these files are stored closer to your visitors while delivering your dynamic content directly from your web server. Then a technology called Anycast is used to route your visitors to the nearest data center. The result is that your website, on average, loads twice as fast for your visitors regardless of where they are located.
On average, a website on this CDN loads twice as fast for its visitors, sees 65% fewer requests and saves 60% of bandwidth.