What is a CDN?
The Internet which traverses the globe has started to give us some exposure to this light speed limitation. If you need data sent from the exact opposite part of the earth to your location, there will always be a delay of at least 5 microseconds. And that is only one way communication under perfect circumstances given the speed of light limitation. In practice, any request for data requires a series of back and forth that ends up creating substantially larger delays that are noticeable to humans.
CDN’s basically create copies of popular content and keep those copies available on servers distributed throughout the world. So when you surf the web to see your friend from Australia’s latest photos, they load from a server nearby and not half way across the world. This helps overcome this speed of light limitation and ensure a speedier response time for your photo.
How is a Video CDN different?
A simple example of this is if you compare how web files are delivered as you surf the Internet. Typically you are clicking links and loading pages composed of many relatively small images. As you surf around, you want each website to load super quick for you to view, but then as you scroll down the page, your Internet connection is idle as everything you need for the page is already loaded. In comparison, when you are streaming the latest episode of your favorite Netflix show, you are watching a video which is a huge file of data that is transmitted as you are watching. Instead of a lot of small files from many different websites, you are downloading a huge movie file in realtime as you watch. But in both cases, you want your experience of either the website or video to start up as fast as possible.
The choices and optimizations that the CDN uses to deliver the expected experience would vary greatly between these two different uses. And that’s why for video, you need a specialized CDN that is tuned and optimized exactly for the video viewing experience.
Even if you don’t need to have a solution to handle millions of users, CDN’s help you maintain the minimum possible bills for servers and hosting as your server is no longer handling the responsibility for delivering all of the requests to your users. No matter what size, the CDN will help offload much of the traffic from your servers so you can get away smaller monthly bills on hosting.
Reliability is key 🔑 for video performance
© 2019 Swarmify