What your CDN provider doesn’t want you to know…


Content Delivery Networks have been around for almost 20 years now. Depending on how you look at it, that fact could be a good thing or a bad thing.



Content Delivery Networks have been around for almost 20 years now. Depending on how you look at it, that fact could be a good thing or a bad thing.

The good: it’s a tested and proven technology.

The bad: (and what CDN providers don’t want you to know): it’s not a technology designed for today’s cloud-based, personalized, bi-directional, real-time content.

The ugly: (and what legacy CDN providers really don’t want you to know): legacy CDNs aren’t designed for enterprise content which is far less popular (and therefore ignored) compared to content generated by large video and social media companies.

CDN vendors have been closely watching the evolution of the World Wide Web in the hopes of catching up. In fact, the primary factor that has influenced the advancement in CDN technology until now is the nature of web content.

In the 90s, the web used to be a collection of dull-looking, simple websites with static content. The first set of CDNs focused on accelerating static text and images through caching. The goal was simple: duplicate content and place it close to end users.

However, in terms of infrastructure, this was a massive challenge. First-gen CDN providers spent millions of dollars building out this infrastructure, investing in data center points of presence (POPs) at locations where the majority of the web content was being consumed. It was standard practice for CDN vendors to boast about the size of their networks in terms of number of servers or their POPs around the globe because back in the 90s that was the number one way to excel in terms of performance.

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