Quick definition - What does CDN mean?
CDN, stands for Content Delivery Network, which typically describes a group of servers that deliver content via the Internet. CDNs are optimized to realize higher speed, scalability, and better availability than you would be able to achieve with a single server scenario.
Content Delivery Networks (CDN) explained
CDN, meaning Content Delivery Networks, consists of servers working together to provide fast delivery of HTTP content via the Internet. In a CDN, the sending server connects with a group of cache servers (Points of Presence, PoPs) that store the information which needs to be distributed. If a new user requests data, it is delivered by one of the cache servers, which is logically and geographically closer to the user.
This means that a) the origin server’s load is reduced, as it doesn’t have to deal with this request, and b) the user gets the content faster.
Content Delivery Networks are typically used to deliver web content. For example:
- HTML pages
Today, the majority of web traffic is caused by CDNs. Especially pages with a high amount of daily, business-critical traffic rely on CDNs to distribute their web content. Take, for example, Amazon, Facebook, or Netflix. Fast delivery of content is crucial for them and the way they do business.
Variations of Content Delivery Networks
Using a Multi CDN approach means using several CDN providers. This way, content is distributed even faster as presence is increased, and the origin server mainly distributes the content to the different CDNs or PoPs. Having a multi CDN approach is also a natural backup and serves redundancy, in case one CDN provider goes offline for a while.
Better together: Collectively delivering media. In a P2P CDN, the users directly distribute content among each other without having to send requests to the server. In detail, StriveCast’s P2P CDN works by connecting the users via WebRTC without the need for a plugin to be installed on the user’s device. When a user requests content, the system first checks for available peers within the network to fetch the content from. If this is the case, the content will be provided without connecting to the original server. You can read more about P2P CDNs here.
How a CDN works for live video streaming
The primary purpose of a CDN is that content doesn’t have to be sent by the origin server again and again. Instead, the requested content can be stored and loaded in so-called PoPs (groups of caching servers), which serve as middlemen between the sending server and the requester.
How a CDN distributes content – easy step by step explanation:
Benefits of using a CDN
It’s all about performance: Studies state that 53% of website visits are abandoned if a mobile site takes longer than three seconds to load. Positively said, for every 100ms decrease in homepage load speed, a company’s customer base saw a 1.11% increase in session-based conversion. A CDN enables the fast delivery of website content. Here are some more benefits you should know:
- Faster loading times
- Increased stability
- Lower costs for self-hosting
- Further analysis options (through statistics from the CDN provider)
- Global accessibility
Content Delivery Networks for streaming purposes
Live streaming is a real challenge for content delivery: During a live video stream, the content that needs to be delivered is non-static and can’t be cached upon request, but needs to be distributed in real-time. Every second, entirely new content is created, and the old content becomes obsolete.
For live streaming and webcast applications, the Quality of Experience is especially crucial to the audience. This includes the following factors:
- Streaming quality
- Buffering / Latency times
- Flawless streaming
However, precisely these factors suffer when companies or organizations want to deliver live streams to a larger audience as the requirements are hard to meet. A classic content delivery network could be a solution, but some obstacles might still be in the way:
Here’s where StriveCast’s streaming technology steps in:
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