A Content Delivery Network or a Content Distribution Network (CDN) is a distributed system of servers, strategically deployed in multiple data centers across the globe. Within a CDN, your content is available in many copies throughout these servers. In other words, a CDN is an interconnected system that caches, stores, and distributes your content to many end-users simultaneously. The ultimate goal of this technology is to deliver content to thousands of end-users with high availability and high performance.
For instance, without CDN, if your website is based in Los Angeles, the people who are accessing it from San Francisco will receive the content faster than people accessing it from Shanghai. The farther away the person accessing the website or application is, the longer the load time and the more frustrating the user experience becomes. In case of CDN usage, each end-user will access the same content from the closest CDN server and there will not be a significant performance difference between the end-users based on their location.
How Do CDNs Work?
CDNs are made up of a network of servers referred to as “Points of Presence” or PoPs. Each one of these servers (PoPs) is expanded in locations all over the world. The CDN server located closest to the end-user is called as “Edge Server.” When a user requests content from a website or application through a CDN, they will be connected to the closest edge server. This ensures the user will receive the best performance experience possible.