What is Content delivery network and How CDN works?

Content delivery network

CDN wiki to provide us with an overview about CDN and to guide us about content delivery network. In this article, we will see that what is content delivery network and how CDN works. Content delivery network is basically considered as the backbone of the internet. Since the invention of the internet, websites have evolved in delivering their content to the user. A content delivery network is a system consists of servers that deliver the digital pages and web content to the user. Everyone who use internet interacts with the CDN. We interact with CDN when we read articles, watch videos, likes a photo on social media or shop online.

You might be wondering that why CDN are widely used. To come up with the answer you have to recognize that what is the actual reason of designing CDN. The basic purpose is to get rid of the delay that you face when you request to load a web page. This delay can be affected by a number of reasons, but the major reason is the distance between the user and the server. Content delivery network shortens this distance and hence improves the speed and performance of the network.

CDN is very effective in speeding the delivery of content and closer the CDN to the user, the delivery of the content will be faster. It not only speeds up the delivery of the content but also provide protection from large surges in traffic. Now you know what CDN is for but how it manages to shorten the distance between user and server. Let’s see how CDN works.

Content delivery network basically has point of presence or data centers situated around the world. Each data center or Point of presence contains thousands of servers and these servers are responsible in speeding up the delivery of content because these POP contains the cache servers and can store cached versions of the content. A website can contain static and dynamic content on the same time and when user requests a page, each content on the page has to be delivered.

The requested page can consist of text, images, html and dynamic content. When a user requests the page then these POP near the user provides him with the cached content and in case if any content has not been previously cached then it communicate with the originating server to deliver the content.

The whole process remains transparent to the user and the only way for user to know this is to match the URL with the requested URL. Let’s make it more clear for you with an example. Suppose a user in London request a page from US hosted website. The process will be done through the local UK POP. This will result in a more quick transmission of content and the user don’t have to travel the full width of Atlantic. But the URL can vary from the actual URL.

More than half of the traffic on internet is now delivered through CDN and with every passing year the numbers are increasing. Many businesses use CDN to deliver large scale websites to the global audience because of the fact that it accelerates the loading time of the site, reduces the latency and also reduces the consumption of the bandwidth. CDN is basically a secured way of transferring content because it blocks the data scarpers and spammers from hitting your servers.

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