CDN — A Must for All Businesses

CDN — A Must for All Businesses

In an IT landscape that is flush with acronyms, CDN might seem as if it’s developed a bit of gray hair. That’s right, the first CDN—or Content Delivery Network—launched just before the turn of the century. Initially designed simply to accelerate static content by pushing copies to geographically distributed “edge servers,” CDN offerings have evolved considerably in recent years. Now they can accelerate all sorts of content: static, dynamic, mobile, ecommerce, video, audio and games among them. As a business owner, what does this mean to you? Just about anything that your users might consume, you’ll want to accelerate.

Most people don’t realize how consequential even small amounts of latency can impact a business’s performance, regardless of your type of business. Peter Bonney, co-founder and Chief Product Officer of Vendorful explains, “No matter what business you’re in, your website plays an important role in the experience your customers have with your company. If your ecommerce operation is slow, it will affect conversions. If your marketing pages are down, it will cause customers to question your technical competence or just abandon the site altogether. If your “help” videos don’t load quickly, people won’t stick around to use your product.”

The data bears this out. Running an ecommerce website? As far back as 2010, an Akamai study showed that 57% of online shoppers would abandon a site if page load time exceeded 3 seconds. And with broadband speeds increasing year over year, it’s unlikely that consumers have grown more patient.

“Okay,” you think, “I’m not selling anything on my website. I’m just offering videos.” Unfortunately, shifting your business model away from ecommerce does not mean that you’re in the clear. Count to two…. That’s all the time you have before your users start abandoning your site. That’s right. It takes just 2 seconds of latency and they begin looking for something else. It only gets more dire from there: every additional second drives 5.8% of your users away. And this data is just about starting playback. If your video starts to play back promptly, but then rebuffers, guess what happens. Users begin leaving again. And if playback just stops? Forget it. The data shows that users are less likely to return to the site even a week later once they’ve experienced a failure in video playback.

At this point, perhaps you’re considering moving to a model where you de-emphasize desktop users altogether. Be warned, you won’t find a more sympathetic audience among mobile users. More than half of them expect mobile web pages to load in under 2 seconds. <sigh> What’s a business to do?

Enter the CDN. The past decade or so has seen not just an evolution in the services offered, but a proliferation of companies with offerings in the marketplace: there are over 30 CDN providers. It’s a good thing, too, as the addressable market for their services continues to grow.

Integration with a CDN is relatively straightforward and immediately gives your business a global infrastructure footprint. Users’ web and mobile requests which would have been served by a server or cluster of servers, are now directed to the CDN’s edge servers which are highly redundant, optimized for performance, and distributed around the planet. Performance improves dramatically without requiring the company to spend huge amounts of money building out their own infrastructure. Plus, Bonney adds, “By leveraging a massive CDN infrastructure, you get some great bonus features: DDoS mitigation, network load-balancing, scalability, and greater uptime.”

Bonney’s company, Vendorful, helps business buyers find the vendors that best address their specific needs. If you’re ready to find a CDN provider or simply want to do a market check to see what offerings are available beyond your current CDN provider, a free Vendorful account is all you need to get started. And for those who want to gather a little more background on Content Delivery Networks, Vendorful offers a CDN Mini Guide.

Now get thine content to the edge!

Vendorful offers a free RFP management platform. To learn more about Vendorful’s free RFP management platform, visit their website at www.vendorful.com

[Article re-purposed from this piece]