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Heather Oliver is a Technical Writer for Constellix and DNS Made Easy, subsidiaries of Tiggee LLC. She’s fascinated by technology and loves adding a little spark to complex topics. Want to connect? Find her on LinkedIn.

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Image and video content have become a staple of the online experience. And consumer expectations are high. Nowadays, high-quality media isn’t enough. Speed is equally important, perhaps even more so. Studies have found that at least 47% of customers expect page load times of less than two seconds. 

That’s not a lot of time!

Creating quality visuals is a major business expense. The average cost of a semi-professional one to two-minute video falls between $1,500-3,000. For professional video, costs can reach up to $20,000 for the same length of time. Static design, while not as costly, still averages between $100-850 per project. Design costs can increase significantly depending on the assignment and the designer's expertise.

Great visuals are a must if you want to captivate an audience. No business can afford to lose half of its potential customers due to slow-loading web pages.

That’s where content delivery networks (CDNs) come in.

What is a CDN?

A CDN is a geographically distributed network of servers designed to store web content. What they are actually doing is caching the media files on your website. When a person queries (requests) your website, files are served via the server closest to the requester’s location. This improves site latency and closes the physical gap between your content and your users. The result is a notable reduction in page load time. 

Faster load times = better ROI.

Common Problems With CDNs: Outages

But just having a CDN isn’t enough. They can and do fail. Because of this, most corporate and enterprise-level organizations use more than one CDN. Using multiple CDNs ensures that content is still served in the event of a single provider outage. 

If you don’t have CDN redundancy and your provider goes down, so does your website. In 2021 alone, there were at least seven CDN outages that affected thousands of domains on a global scale:

  • Akamai (June and July)
  • AWS (December [2])
  • Azure (October)
  • Fastly (June)
  • Google (February)

Having Multi-CDN in 2022 and beyond is a must!

Common Problems With CDNs: Performance Degradation

Performance degradation is also an important factor to consider when using CDNs. Server speeds and efficiency can fluctuate and negatively affect your end-user experience. This is why it’s vital to stay on top of how your CDN(s) is performing. As in the case of outages, having multiple CDNs can help alleviate performance issues—especially if you’re using a Multi-CDN solution (more on that later). If a CDN fails or is experiencing issues, traffic can seamlessly be redirected to another resource.

CDN Tracking With Constellix

Luckily, there are tracking tools available that let you quickly and easily keep up with how your CDNs are performing. With Constellix’s free CDN Live Performance Tool, you can view your CDN speeds and performance in real time. Currently, there are 14 providers supported. You can monitor performance in all seven continents, 42 countries, and 59 states. It’s also possible to monitor based on ASN number. To see how a CDN is handling different types of content, you can filter results by small, medium, or large resources as well. 

CDN Performance Comparison

Not only can you see speeds and performance degradation spikes, but you can also compare how providers match up. Based on the same criteria as above (continent, country, state, ASN, and resource size), you can compare the CDN providers of your choice. 

In the graph below, it shows a real-time comparison of eight CDNs. This comparison displays speeds and image size at the exact time the content was served. This is invaluable for pinpointing performance issues. Because CDNs often require companies to commit to a certain amount of traffic, this information is also beneficial for negotiating current and future commitments, especially if you want traffic to go to the best-performing resources first.

CDN Performance

Tip: Want a truly optimized internet experience? We’ve partnered with Statically to provide you with the fastest, most efficient CDN and DNS available. Click here to learn more.

Multi-CDN Solution For the Best End User Experience

For ultimate efficiency and to fully optimize your traffic, a Multi-CDN solution is a must-have for your online strategy. Constellix offers the most robust multi-CDN management tool in the industry. Once configured, the tool is fully automated. CDN traffic is sent to the fastest resource without any manual intervention. In the event of a failure, content is automatically served by the next closest and/or healthiest CDN. This ensures the best user experience. 

Our data is gathered from our Real User Monitoring (RUM) community or by Synthetic monitoring. You also have the option to bring your own data (BYOD). The advantage of using RUM over synthetic data is that it’s based on real-user metrics. You can also choose data collection intervals, apply DNS IP filter rules to your configuration, and set the average object/file size for measurement.

If you prefer more control over your CDN traffic, you can configure CDNs based on a weighted distribution or deviation allowance with CNAME or ANAME record pools. This option allows you to use CDNs based on preference or need, such as commits, capacity, or cost.

Of course, one of the best features of our Multi-CDN solution is that it lets you manage all your CDNs in one place. This saves time and frustration, cuts down on configuration errors, and can intuitively help your bottom line..

Best Performance CDN

No matter what industry you’re in, if your organization serves media-rich content, CDNs play a significant role in your end users’ experiences, and subsequently, your bottom line. Monitoring CDN performance is key to improving latency and reducing page load times. It’s also critical for traffic optimization and CDN management. And just like with DNS, it’s best practice to have more than one CDN provider. After all, redundancy is king in the online world!

Related resources:

Best DNS + CDN Provider Solutions and Examples for Redundancy

What is a Content Delivery Network? (CDN)

Guide to Site Performance and Domain Latency

DNS Bytes: Tip - Block Web Traffic With DNS with GeoIP Filters

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