CDN terminology: a short guide for the starters

So, you have decided to implement a CDN to improve your website efficiency and reliability. A wise solution! But in case you want to do everything on your own without IT department assistance, you may have some problems at the initial stage: CDN type selection. How one can understand what is what, if there are so many specific terms? We decided to help you a bit, explaining what the following mysterious words mean.

CDN (Content Delivery Network) is a net of servers that store website content and data and make its delivery faster and more efficient by reducing the distance to the end-user.

Dynamic content – these are site applications that work for users straightforward. Theoretically, it can’t be kept on CDN edge servers, but, in fact, there are some networks that accelerate this content by compressing it or by using algorithms predicting users’ behavior.

Static content – is the content that does not vary according to users’ requests.

Load balancing – server’s ability to calculate the shortest route to the content, or the most optimal server of POP, allowing achieving faster speed of content delivery.

Edge server – is one of CDN’s servers where content is stored. When a user makes a request, he is directed to the nearest server from the chain, which makes data delivery considerably quicker.

Origin server – is the server where all the original data is being kept.

Point of Presence (PoP) – is a collection of edge servers located near the target audience. A SuperPOP is a server with extra power and storage, capable of replacing several edge servers iat once.

Caching – is temporary storage of the data requested by a user from a website and stored for some certain period (defined by user). The information is being stored on edge servers, which is why a user may re-open it instantly.

Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack – is hacker’s attempt to overload server by sending too many requests and making it go down. CDNs are less prone to such attacks, because information is stored simultaneously on several servers. So if one server fails, other ones will be able to assist users.

Token authentication – is a feature of some CDNs that allows opening your links from some certain URLs, for some directories, for some certain time, etc.

Secure sockets layer (SSL) certificate - is an encryption tool that protects all transmissions performed on a page. It helps to keep users’ information secure.

95th-percentile billing – is one of the most widespread payment options when a user pays monthly for an average traffic level, which decreases overages caused by data spikes.

Knowing these terms, you will be able to find the most suitable CDN with the most optimal options.

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