The Stack Infra team at Elastic uses many services to provide downloads for projects like Elasticsearch and Kibana to our users. One of these services is Fastly, which helps us optimize delivery to regions around the world. Keeping an eye on the performance and behavior of our CDN is important to ensure we're operating at the level we expect.
A Content Delivery Network (CDN) is a collection of distributed nodes, called edge servers, connected to the same origin servers and placed local to the users’ location. If you are using a CDN, your website content is delivered to the user from the nearest edge server to their location. Without a CDN, you are putting stress on the origin server every time a user requests something.
A Content Delivery Network, or CDN, is a collection of proxy servers that are connected to the same origin server, and are geographically distributed relative to end users. Instead of utilizing a single server to respond to user requests, CDN edge servers are able to deliver content more effectively and efficiently to users based on their physical location. For example, if someone from Europe accesses your U.S.-hosted website, it would likely be done through a local U.K.
When was the last time you looked into the loading time of your website on actual end user screens? Do you know that the load time of your website content may significantly vary from different geographical locations? An end user sitting in Los Angeles may face a delay in downloading your web page and content than a user accessing your web page from London. The simple fact is lots of back-end processes are happening behind the scene to deliver your website and content to the end uses.
In case you haven’t heard, Uptrends has a new, exciting free tool, CDN Performance Check. The new tool makes checking on your CDN performance super easy. Plug in a URL for your site or one of your static resources and watch as Uptrends times the connection and download from over 40 worldwide locations. It’s one quick test, but you get so much CDN performance information back. All you need is your site’s URL or the URL for one of your static page elements served up by a CDN.
Content delivery networks, or CDNs, are one of the easiest ways to improve the performance of a web application. By caching assets on servers around the world, you can minimize the stress on the original server and dramatically improve load times. Load testing CDNs can help you quantify their benefits, identify any configuration errors, and choose the best provider for your requirements.
Load balancers and Content Delivery Networks, or CDNs, are both critical tools for delivering modern, cloud-native applications. They play essential roles in ensuring the smooth flow of data between applications and end-users. If you don’t have both a load balancer and a CDN in place, you’re probably in a poor position to guarantee the uptime of your application across a wide geographic area. That does not mean, however, that load balancers and CDNs do the same thing.