Cloud storage and content delivery networks (CDNs) work hand-in-hand to improve speed and website performance. Before deciding on a move to cloud storage, it’s important to understand why a business would want a CDN and how cloud storage works to speed up website response time.
A decade ago, big websites were hosted on dedicated servers that relied on a fast backend network connectivity. The bottleneck was typically the end-user’s home Internet connection. Then with high-speed Internet installed in most homes, the dedicated servers became the bottleneck. With cloud storage, files are not only stored across several servers but also in several geographical locations. The physical distribution means that file delivery has less distance to travel. Although distance is a minor speed issue for small files, with large files it can be the source of delays. File distribution and closer geographical locations can greatly improve delivery time for large media files.
Data centers are the backbone of quality cloud storage. The power of a data center allows businesses to take advantage of costly file server distribution but only pay the price of resources in use. Data centers are costly, but cloud hosts only charge businesses for the resources used. This allows the business to spend less and scale technology costs with growth. The cloud host costs will increase, but only as the business growth increases.
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After a CDN is set up, the website owner must upload content to the CDN servers and link the content in the web pages. Each CDN has its own functionality for file uploads, but start with large files and busy pages that use those larger files. Within the web page code, the webmaster must replace the current link to the locally stored file with the new CDN location. When the user loads the page, the CDN processes and loads the media file without using the local web host resources.
The process of moving the media to a CDN is tedious at first, but it can greatly enhance performance and customer experiences. It can also make media organization and hosting easier to manage for webmasters and administrators.