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Build Your Own CDN In The Right Way: Getting Started

September 7, 2020

Here Is The Right Way To Build Your Own CDN

Today, users expect fast and seamless website experiences. Businesses realize this – the online world has presented immense scalability and visibility. Therefore, Content Delivery Networks (CDN), which protect cached data over multiple Points of Presence (PoP) and deliver it to the user in the fastest way, have become an integral part of web applications today. This is pushing businesses to buy a CDN solution or build their own CDN.

With the enormous scalability and visibility that the online world offers businesses, competition has intensified. In this fierce competition, webmasters need to optimize the front-end as well as the back-end of the website architecture.

Quite often, webmasters fail to give adequate attention to the back-end infrastructure optimization part, which includes server optimization. The information needs to pass from the origin server to the user. This is called the Round-Trip Time, and it is longer whenever a request is sent for a piece of content on the website by a user who may be located in any faraway part of the world.

CDNs provide several benefits in this retrospect: Not only do they help to cut down on the latency, but also they offer the option to webmasters to personalize content and cache storage in different parts of the world. 

So, are you looking to set up this technology to zoom your online business into the new age? Now, you have two major options –either you can outsource the entire service to an external and dedicated CDN provider (You are thinking of Medianova, aren’t you); or you can choose the engineering approach and start building the nuts and bolts entirely by yourself. 

Outsourcing the entire set-up to an external partner can be advantageous for several reasons, they bring along their years of expertise and extensive experience that help set up end-to-end technology, quickly and efficiently by understanding your unique requirements and expectations.

However, setting up a Do-It-Yourself Content Delivery Network (DIY CDN) can help ensure better control for companies over their infrastructure. With the emergence of on-cloud infrastructures, managed service solutions available from various companies; where it has become considerably more straightforward than it was a decade ago to set up the complete technology. In this blog, we will take you through the steps that you will need to execute in order to build your own CDN.

Build your own CDN setup takes place in four steps:

  • CDNs can be built using cloud instances or physical machines.
  • Best ISP(s) and routing principles should be implemented for an optimal solution.
  • You also need to configure Origin server(s) and PoP(s) (Point of Presence)

Aside from this, you need to set up a content distribution system (since your PoPs will harbor multiple contents), and obtain certificates for each of your edge caches (PoPs). Also, it becomes paramount to find a good (and quick) DNS service – some of the best examples are DNS Made Easy, Dyn, and Amazon Route 53.

However, it would help if you were careful and considerate with these steps, lest you end up with a solution that underperforms and you end up with a slower solution than the one you had before without the CDN in place.

You can opt for multi-CDN deployment to reduce vendor lock-in. This way you can deploy the strategy by utilizing the unique vendor strengths such as geographies they serve, type of content, traffic volume, etc.

You may find that setting up the CDN can be quite fun ( and tiresome), straightforward, and cost-effective with an expert team. The challenge will be more significant after the solution has been deployed. You will need to correctly set up the configuration workflows, manage contracts with multiple technology vendors, set up decision-making software, manage and route the traffic in real-time, monitor performance, and optimize the operations among scores of other tasks to keep the deployment effective and streamlined in the longer run.

Devices keep evolving, and therefore you will need to make changes to your encoding profiles always. Especially, if the majority of your customer interact with you via the online business channel, these users can be quite unforgiving – downtimes and slow performance can result in a significant revenue loss and dissatisfied customers. Regular performance monitoring and smart traffic management will help to design a reliable and robust system.

Some organizations that go ahead with the DIY strategy may quickly discover the deployment strategy is overwhelming, and this is where the importance of having a dedicated technology partner for managing the CDN becomes essential.

What Advantage Does Having a Technology Partner Bring To The Table?

There are invariably going to be a lot of moving pieces whilst setting up the platform. More so, if you have a large-scale business that requires complex infrastructure and configurations, getting everything right would need considerable expertise, experience as well as keeping up to date with the market dynamics.

For many businesses, it makes more financial sense to have a dedicated technology partner on board who can incorporate the best-in-class technology and bring industry best practices to the table. Remember that while it might mean more upfront costs, it would also mean a lower operational expenditure over the long term as well as a revenue boost.

Nowadays, technology vendors offer complete provisioning on-cloud and on a scalable model, making it easier for companies to switch between vendors and make the best choices based on their unique requirements and budgetary constraints.

With its footprint in 21 countries and 100% SSD-powered anycast network, Medianova is one of the fastest HTTPS secure CDNs in Europe and the Middle East based on Cedexis.

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