CDN vs Multi-CDN — What is a CDN?

Pål Torgersen
Nov 26, 2019 · 2 min read

Content Delivery is the process of making a video or live stream available for playback online for the end-user. CDN stands for Content Delivery Network and is a network of geographically distributed servers. CDNs are not only used for videos, but for all kinds of assets online (websites, downloads, images, etc). In the early days, text-based web content was usually served from one server to all clients. Single server distribution is not a sustainable solution for the rich web content we consume today, with high-resolution images, music, videos, etc. Adding more servers and load balancing could partly solve the problem, but this wouldn’t be a sustainable solution in terms of scalability.

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Connecting the dots

This is where CDNs come in. By utilizing distributed proxy/caching servers placed in data centers all over the world, it is possible to deliver content efficiently without straining the origin servers (the location where the original files or assets are stored). A CDN delivers the content directly from the proxy server closest to the end-user. This reduces latency, load times and increases the potential transfer speeds. CDNs also cache files locally for the next end-user that requests the same content from the same location, contributing to even faster load times.

A CDN between the end-users and the original storage location contributes to the origin not being overwhelmed by direct requests from users. Since a CDN is distributed, it can deliver content to multiple users simultaneously. This is what allows content to go viral without systems crashing due to the heavy load. As an example, when a video that is served by SYNQ is requested via an app or web service powered by our video service, it is not served by us directly but from a CDN server located close to you. Cutting distance is cutting latency.

CDNs can be combined to further increase the number of PoPs (Points of Presence), which increases the possibility that there is a server close to a larger percentage of end-users. This is called Multi-CDN and helps to further reduce latency. A multi-CDN setup can be considered more resilient if there are larger incidents that debate network performance, or if a CDN is experiencing issues.

What does this mean for you as a customer of SYNQ?

  • Enterprise grade content delivery
  • Scalability
  • Low latency
  • Increased reliability
  • Access to global delivery networks
  • Easy access to performance data

That’s it!


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