Content Delivery Networks: What is Content Delivery Network and how does CDN work
What are CDNs:
Content Delivery Network (abbr. CDN) is the way the content is delivered to the end user. The ability to deliver requested content will require the development of a content distribution network.
How CDNs work:
When an internet browser requests a resource, the initial step is the DNS request. The browser then provides the domain name and waits to receive an IP address in return. With the IP address, the browser can contact the server directly. A domain name can have a single IP address; or alternatively in the case of larger applications, the domain name can have multiple IP addresses. Physicality is what determines how quickly one system can contact another over physical connections, therefore accessing a server in China from a PC in US will take more time than trying to access a U.S. server from inside the country. To improve the experience for the user as well as to lower the transmission costs by a substantial amount; large corporations usually set up servers with copies of data in specific and strategically planned geographic locations all across the globe. The server closest to the website responds to the request by the user. The content delivery network’s purpose is to copy the pages of the website to a network of servers that are spread over a wide range of different locations, caching the contents of the page. When the user asks for a webpage that is part of a content delivery network, the content delivery network will direct the request from the original website’s server to the nearest server in the CDN and then deliver the cached content. CDNs also do the job of communicating with the original server to deliver any content that has not been formerly cached. The whole process of echoing throughout CDNs is almost transparent to the user.
The purpose of CDNs
In the absence of a CDN, the servers have to respond to each and every single end user request. This leads to a fair amount of traffic to the original website and the subsequent load, hence increasing the chances for original’s failure if the traffic is too high or if the load continues to be persistent. By immediately responding to the user’s request, content delivery networks offload traffic from the content servers and helps improve the overall web experience, hence putting the end users and the content provider at an advantage. As more and more businesses choose to go online, and the world begins to shop on the Internet, content providers face a progressively increasing range of challenges such as the delivery of content, device detection, and making sure to secure data and the presence of their users.
CDNs have hence been forming the backbone of the virtual world by delivering online content for all kinds of businesses. Bottom line is, if you’ve ever done anything online, you will have made use of and benefited from a CDN.
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