What is Content Delivery Network (CDN)?
A content delivery network (CDN) is a system of multiple computers that contain copies of data stored on various network nodes. A well-designed and appropriately implemented CDN improves data access by increasing bandwidth and minimizing access latency. In general, the CDN content can include web objects, applications, database queries, downloadable data objects, and media streams.
An established CDN consists of several computer nodes that are networked on the Internet to give users access to large amounts of media or data.
A CDN is also known as a content distribution network.
A complete CDN architecture consists of various individual components that are aligned towards the common goal of providing services to the end user. A common example of a CDN could be a consolidated file server used as a user application and data file warehouse. General functions associated with the network for content delivery include file access, application processing, multimedia delivery, and caching. A complete CDN has the ability to have functionalities that are only possible with the participation of each individual CDN component.
A CDN is usually operated as an application service provider over the Internet. Many well known internet network providers like ATT have their own Content delivery-Networks designed to serve the content consumer market.
In general, CDN nodes are installed in different remote locations that can cover multiple backbones. These network nodes assist each other in meeting end-user content requirements in order to optimize the service delivery process. The number of servers and compute nodes that make up the CDN varies depending on the network architecture.
The strategically placed servers have greater capacity than a network backbone, which maximizes the potential for increasing the number of concurrent users. In addition, such strategically placed edge servers reduce delivery times and reduce the load on public and private peers, backbones and interconnects. A CDN manages all traffic by reading it to the edge servers.