With a billion of websites out there on the internet, this is probably more than the number of hairs on human head. With so many websites on internet how does one improve upon the performance of web server to respond faster and cater to all the needs by the internet browsers? Only scaling the webservers does not help to improve the performance hence a system of distributed servers is required to deliver the response quickly and consistently.
In today’s world when everyone wants to be connected through internet, it becomes very important for the website/computer data center service provider to make the content available to everyone at all the times. Some of the most common websites that require the content to be delivered are social Networking websites, online gaming, online video streaming and various other online services. Content delivery network comes to rescue in such a scenario and improves the user experience.
Content delivery network or Content Distribution Network works on principle of distributing the resources to different geographical location by copying the same data to every server and synchronizing the data on all the web servers through a super-fast network. So, when a request comes for some resource, instead of sending the request to content from the location of hosting service provider directly it will redirect the request to the server which is geographically closer to the requester, so the latency decreases i.e. time involved in receiving a request and processing and responding back by server.
Apart from decreasing latency involved there are lots of other benefits of distributing the content through a network. CDN helps in decreasing strain/load on the server as the load will be balanced between all the servers in network. This makes the server crash resistant as the servers in network will manage the load. Having the content distributed not only improves the user experience but it improves the Search Engine Optimization (SEO) ratings.
It is not always wise to distribute the resources on network. There are very important factors to consider before considering choosing a CDN. CDN costs additional money for maintaining the servers. While using a CDN there are challenges of managing cached files as well as synchronizing all the servers is an overhead in maintenance.