3 Factors For Evaluating CDN For Your Business

Ersin Galioglu

Many businesses in India today are using content delivery networks (CDNs) because they serve global audiences and need a way to deliver content fast. Web pages need to load quickly, videos need to start immediately, and files need to download fast. But speed is only one factor of the performance puzzle, especially when delivering different kinds of content across different geo-locations. 

There are three other key factors to consider when evaluating a CDN for your business.

#1 Is It Available?

You may have the fastest site in your industry, but if it’s not consistently fast and available globally, your users — and, therefore, your business — will be negatively affected. You need assurances that video content doesn’t buffer and other content will always be available, everywhere. To address this, Limelight recently announced new performance advancements that use purpose-built software and services, delivering breakthrough performance, even over congested or changing network conditions. This ensures optimal customer experiences and insulates you from failures of any portion of your content delivery infrastructure. So ask CDN providers about content redundancy, connection redundancy, proactive monitoring and other features that will protect against unexpected and costly downtime.

#2 Does It Scale?

Customers in India and across the globe want their online experiences to feel local, even when dealing with international brands. A CDN that relies on the public internet is at the mercy of content complexity and network congestion. A private network, on the other hand, can offer global scale that bypasses the public internet, massive capacity to handle high surges in traffic, and greater optimization flexibility. Content is cached on edge servers located closer to where the user is located. This allows the data to travel the shortest distance possible, reducing latency (delays) and speeding up page-load times.

#3 Is Storage Integrated?

Although often overlooked when choosing a CDN, choices about content storage have a direct impact on workflow, total cost, and access speed. Poorly-integrated storage can make it much more difficult to manage a large content library, for example. Access costs can exceed storage costs, and access speed can suffer from inefficient storage placement and slow transfer. Simple storage provides an adequate origin to deliver content. However, intelligent Origin Storage services can dramatically improve the user experience and give you more control, including where and how content is ingested, stored, replicated and delivered. Based on traffic patterns, user requirements, and other business needs, policies can be modified to squeeze out the last bits of latency and deliver a stellar user experience. Make sure to ask CDN providers under consideration about their storage capabilities and policies.

A final tip: Don’t forget to do a complete content audit of your websites to understand the mix of dynamic or personalized content and static content that drives the user experience. Dynamically generated content is tailored to specific users, while static content does not change across users and can be cached. All websites are a complex mix of static and dynamic content. A content audit will provide important insight into what bottlenecks may be standing in the way of your performance objectives. CDNs offer specialized services, so it’s important that content distributors carefully map their requirements against their business requirements, audience expectations, and long-term goals.