DIY(Do It Yourself) CDN – Good or bad idea?
Is A DIY CDN A Good Option For You?
Today, websites and web apps have become extremely complex and rich in content. Catering to a worldwide and global audience base, fast and responsive web apps have become critical to the revenue strategy for businesses. However, delivering such heavy data applications, along with sending requests and responses over the traditional protocols within the current worldwide network presents particular challenges. Applications may run slow and become unresponsive over the web, creating a sub-optimal user experience. Bad user experiences are undesirable and lead to user churn, impacting bottom-line. For these reasons, Content Delivery Networks (CDNs) have become an integral aspect of web app design today by maintaining cached data over multiple Points of Presence (PoP). CDNs reduce the Round Trip Time, i.e. the time it takes for a request to be fulfilled that entails the total time data packets to flow from the end-user to the server and then back.
What is a DIY (Do It Yourself) CDN?
With CDNs, there is a lot of prevalent debate surrounding what is going to be the best strategy to set it up for organizations -whether to build it up by themselves or to get a dedicated external vendor for CDN services. Both sides tout multiple benefits: Having a specialized external CDN vendor brings along their expertise and experience that help deliver end-to-end and best-in-class technology. The opposite side of the debate points to the benefit of having a DIY CDN approach.
DIY CDNs have emerged as a useful strategy, mainly because it helps organizations ensure control over the infrastructure. Today, with the emergence of cloud-based open source technologies, it has become relatively easy for organizations to build, set up and deploy CDNs all by themselves without any need to rely on external support. The emergence of virtualization technology on the cloud has led to the rise of the Virtual Machine (VM) technology. From this perspective, Network Function Virtualisation (NFV) environments deliver the ability to chain services.
You need to install your VMs, choosing from different cloud providers as per their high-availability zones. A simple step is to Implement Varnish, deploy Pingdom and GTmetrix for monitoring.
With DIY multi-CDN deployments, organizations can manage multiple CDN vendors for faster performance. Deployment strategy varies for different organizations depending on their unique and more specific requirements, e.g. traffic volume, type of content they deliver (especially if live and gaming etc.), different geographies they service.
But Is DIY CDN a Good Option For You?
With dedicated in-house tech support, it is not difficult to set up these processes and get ready with a CDN solution all by yourself. However; the real challenge begins from then on. You should be careful; otherwise, you might end up with a CDN solution that underperforms than without a CDN intact.
If you have set up a multi-CDN approach, then you also have to develop internal software to configure workflows of the different vendors and make them work seamlessly for optimum performance. Even after everything is set up, lots of fine-tuning would be needed to ensure optimum performance.
Hence, the real challenge begins after deploying your solution on your own; even though it may be straightforward and cost-effective. Possible challenges include setting up configuration workflows, managing contracts with different vendors, setting up decision-making software, traffic management, performance monitoring, and operations optimization among many others.
Struggles and Challenges With a DIY Solution
The success of a DIY CDN solution is much more important especially if you are a streaming service provider. As devices keep evolving and upgrading every few months, encoding profiles change; you will always be on your toes and keep fine-tuning the process to ensure optimal video delivery over the network.
The DIY approach can also assure you control over your infrastructure and quickly move among vendors as you deem right. However; it also means that you may have to overcome more hurdles all by yourself, which could also directly impact your performance unless you are well prepared to manage it proactively.
Nowadays, the importance of keeping a tight uptime is paramount. The digital universe is vast and global; users expect 100% reliability and low latency when accessing your services. If you suffer downtime of even a few minutes due to maintenance-related issues, you may lose significant traffic, and revenue. For example, during Black Friday 2019, Costco’s website went down entirely for at least 16 hours early on Thanksgiving Day, leading to millions of dollars in lost sales along with tarnishing their brand value.
All in all, a critical challenge is to monitor, operate and streamline these services flawlessly and to assure consistent high performance. With a multi-CDN approach, traffic management systems for deciding the traffic flow among multiple CDN vendors should be employed. Today, a lot of options are available with the rise of cloud and VMs today: Depending on available resources and how much self-management is required by maintaining the CDN themselves. In most cases, companies use 2-6 different vendors for provisioning various services related to the CDN and depending on the size, scale, and complexity.
The deployment strategy is complicated, and lots of details need to be managed, and this is precisely why it is more convenient for organizations to go for a dedicated service provider.
Opting For A CDN Provider:
At Medianova, we are experts in delivering reliable and robust CDN solutions in streaming, encoding, caching, micro-caching, hybrid CDN, and website acceleration. Our turn-key CDN solutions help businesses be up and running with a fast, reliable and robust service. Our fully-managed CDN services utilize state-of-art edge cache technology, which ensures more than 90% hit rate as well as superior streaming quality. Medianova’s CDN technology is 100% driven by API backbone, and utilizes the latest technologies such as BBR, TLS 1.3 and can be easily integrated into your multi-CDN strategy.
Our cutting-edge technologies ensure that you leverage best-in-class technology to deliver superior, low-latency service to your customers with 100% uptime.
Opting for a CDN provider against a DIY CDN will definitely spare you a lot of time struggle. Go ahead and experience the difference by yourself with our 14-day free trial.