Content Delivery Networks - What You Need to Know

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Content delivery networks (CDN) are considered to be part of the backbone of our Internet—the ones who are in charge of delivering content across networks. Implicitly or explicitly, every one of us interacts with a CDN daily. This interaction can be in the form of reading an article online, shopping online, watching a YouTube video, or even scrolling through social media feeds.

Here we take a deeper dive into the world of CDNs:

What is a CDN?

A content delivery network (CDN) is a geographically distributed network of proxy servers deployed in multiple data centres. The goal of a CDN is to serve content to end-users with high availability and high performance. Popular content is cached at numerous edge servers globally, to make it possible to deliver it to users at low latency. User requests for content are intercepted by edge servers which are selected based on specific parameters such as geolocation, language preferences, client capabilities (e.g. JavaScript support), and/or quality-of-service considerations (e.g. having a fast network connection). A CDN minimizes users' wait time, reduces bandwidth costs, and improves web page responsiveness by serving content close to their geographical location.

How do I connect to a CDN?

Although you can simply buy the services of a CDN from any provider, it's best to connect with a content delivery network that directly partners with your business. If you're looking for a CDN provider in India, several companies—like Cloudflare, Fastly, and Tencent Cloud and more—offer these services.

Types of CDNs

There are two major types of CDNs: those that provide direct CDN services and those that provide aggregated CDN services. Direct CDNs operate their own global network infrastructure, including servers and other bandwidth-delivery tools in data centres around the world. This can be a highly efficient way for companies to make sure their content is available everywhere, but it also requires investing significant resources in hardware and maintaining an extensive network. Aggregated CDNs act as brokers between customers—often ISPs, enterprises, or other providers with sites on multiple different networks—and direct operators. This means aggregators build one extensive network with many different clients instead of each client building out its own infrastructure.

Benefits of connecting to a CDN directly

When it comes to CDNs, one of your primary goals should be network performance. Some CDN providers don't have a direct connection with many Internet service providers (ISPs), which means they can't deliver content as quickly as possible. If you're trying to stream live video or upload large files, using a third-party CDN is like buying tickets for a 5 AM flight—it might get you where you need to go, but that doesn't mean it will get you there on time. When possible, connect directly with a CDN provider—they don't charge extra for access, and their performance will likely be better.

Conclusion

CDNs have become an integral part of many businesses. They help ensure that content is delivered quickly and reliably, which in turn improves your user experience and customer loyalty. To find a CDN in India, simply contact service providers in India that will be able to connect you with one of the best CDN network providers out there. It's always a good idea to check around as each provider offers different pricing options for both small and large companies. Overall, when looking for a company that provides a CDN service, it's essential to do your research before deciding what provider you would like to work with.

DE-CIX India currently interconnects 45+ CDNs in India and you can check the list here.

 

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