How CDN improves user experience and revenue generation

clock • 6 min read
How CDN improves user experience and revenue generation

How CDN improves user experience and revenue generation

Content delivery networks are responsible for fast, scalable content delivery worldwide

Content delivery networks can speed up the delivery of your content to the users - so much so that it's hard to believe that any large online business can do without CDN. Below, we'll tell you how to adapt CDN to the needs of your project.

First, let's discuss who needs caching and why. If we take into account the highly demanding requirements of today's users, the answer is 'everyone'. Waiting a couple of seconds for an application, a video or a web page to load is too much for any modern user.

Since 2010, Google has viewed the speed of user interaction with content as a key ranking metric. Google's own research shows that website conversion depends directly on website speed. According to Google, one of the ways to improve user experience is to use CDN.

What problems can CDN solve?

If content delivery networks didn't exist, each large company would have to build or rent a huge data centre to accumulate all the necessary resources in one location. What could this lead to?

  • Insufficient channel bandwidth. Selling flowers as the only store in your area is not the same as operating a website with tens of thousands of expected users. An average modern web page 'weighs' 2,174.2 KB. If we multiply this value by 1,000 concurrent users (a fairly modest number), the traffic quickly begins to mount up.
  • Extremely high ping when sending requests to the server. If there is no distribution network, all the requests will be sent to the same server, no matter how far away the client is located. Can you imagine the latency rate when connecting to a data centre in Berlin, while your target audience lives in Indonesia?
  • Low infrastructure resilience. Trivial electricity failures can cause your server to stop working, let alone peak loads - which always happen when they're least expected.

Now we'll tell you how to solve these problems.

Working worldwide

Delivering content to faraway regions

If you deliver static content, you'd better choose a provider that operates across many geographies. The equipment should preferably be in Tier III or IV data centers and in large traffic exchange points. In this case, there will be no doubt that the content delivery process is reliable and very fast.

Level Down time (hours/year) Fault tolerance (%)
Tier I 28.8 99.671
Tier II 22 99.741
Tier III 1.6 99.982
Tier IV 0.4 99.995

For example, the GetCourse platform allows its users to publish its paid video tutorials for millions of viewers from Europe, Asia, Oceania and the CIS countries. If a single student has paid for tuition but can't watch the lesson, this turns into a big problem: one that needs to be solved as quickly as possible. Therefore, high-quality content delivery to anywhere in the world became a priority task for the GetCourse development strategy.

"The GetCourse platform is visited by millions of users every day. Our main task is to give them a high-quality product available all over the world 24/7," says Sergey Mikhaylov, GetCourse co-owner and managing partner. "This would be impossible if we had no proper infrastructure allowing us to solve all the service availability problems."

Using CDN was the ideal way to address this issue. GetCourse experts tested services from several vendors and were unhappy to discover that those services weren't available abroad. They also tested the services of one of the world's largest CDN providers, but with the petabytes of traffic 'passing' through the platform every month, the price turned out to be unreasonably high.

As a result, the platform creators chose the G‑Core Labs CDN service. Its quality turned out to be the same as the world's leading companies, but with a much more budget-friendly price.

Broadcast video content without delays

If you deliver video content, e.g., to the users of a streaming service, it is important for the provider to be able to deliver it without buffering. Let's imagine that you already know how to store and process your content. How can you deliver it to the users and make it as 'close' to them as possible?

Streaming is a fundamental part of the platform. It is important for this company that its platform is always stable, even in the case of a changing load. Their aim is to broadcast events in the best quality all around the world.

To solve this problem, the online event organiser also commissioned G-Core Labs. That was because the G-Core's streaming platform is integrated with CDN, and because its high performance is ensured by Intel technologies (G-Core began integrating 3rd generation Intel Xeon Scalable processors into its server infrastructure). Partnering with G-Core enabled to broadcast events around the world without any delays.

Speed up game load times

Even if the latency rate is measured in milliseconds, game developers can lose users. Therefore, online games need maximum bandwidth and the highest network performance possible.

Initially, most World of Tanks players were in Europe and the CIS countries, making it necessary to deploy a content delivery network specifically for this market. Global CDN providers had no well-developed infrastructure in the required regions, and could not give the developer, Wargaming, all the necessary services.

Wargaming asked G-Core Labs for help, with a goal of lowering the time end users had to wait until the game launches. G-Core built a P2P network specially for Wargaming's, needs and connected it directly to the infrastructure of the largest telecommunication operators.

What to pay attention to when enabling CDN

CDN is a quick and easy way to speed up the delivery of your content to the users. Before enabling it, consider the following points:

  • The proportion between static and dynamic content. The network bandwidth needed for static content delivery differs from that needed for dynamic content delivery (e.g., for games and streams).
  • User location. Consider the geographic regions in which the CDN should be present.
  • Network performance. Use the right techniques to test your CDN. Synthetic testing can reveal valuable information about your website, while real user metrics testing gives more accurate data about how your provider works with real users. This is exactly the information that should be used to assess CDN performance.
  • CDN provider settings. Check if the vendor offers any solutions allowing you to easily integrate CDN with your product, if CDN has such a function such as preloading heavy content for the means of speeding up content delivery, and if there is the option allowing you to clear the cache and to manage cache storage.

G‑Core Labs' clients can use CDN free of charge for 14 days. Thanks to the fact that CDN is integrated with the provider's DNS hosting, you can connect your website to the CDN in minutes, without coding. This solution allows you to deliver cached content to users in more than 100 cities around the world, with an average speed of less than 30 ms.

Sam Davis
Sam Davis is vice president of products at G-Core Labs

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