The Use of a content delivery networks brings both pros and cons and we want to take a closer look at both in this article.
First, let's look at the benefits.
Faster load times
By caching data in the replica servers' cache, CDNs allow for shorter load times, which is important for both user satisfaction and SEO.
Lower bandwidth utilization
CDNs contribute to lower bandwidth utilization through their replica servers. This ensures that content remains available even in the event of high user numbers or server outages.
Lower bandwidth usage and faster load times automatically contribute to better website performance. In addition, many CDNs offer self-service tools to further optimize performance.
As requests are routed through a CDN this can help to increase the security of cached data. By keeping sensitive data away from the CDN and minimizing the attack surface, companies can prevent DDoS attacks and web-based exploits such as SQLis from reaching the origin server.
Scope for analysis
A significant amount of traffic on the Internet is carried by CDN providers and as a result, they have a lot of data. This data includes, for example, important information about the users, which can be used for analysis. Among other things, this makes it possible to measure end-user interaction with certain content.
A CDN can adapt to new bandwidth requirements in real time without having to pay more than the required bandwidth. Since enterprise bandwidth requirements can change in a very short time, this provides greater flexibility.
Lower hosting costs
Through a CDN websites require less web hosting resources as the management of static content is taken care of. This reduces the cost of hosting.
The possible uses of a CDN are diverse, which is why the digital solutions are suitable for companies in a wide range of industries.
Next, let's take a look at the cons.
Both setting up and operating a CDN involves more effort because the data is no longer on a single server.
More gateways for hackers
The security of CDNs is a critical issue. In itself, the replica servers protect the origin server from attacks, but on the other hand, there are more gateways for hackers, which is why companies need to be careful especially with sensitive data.
Loss of Control
Since one's data is no longer located only on one's own server, but also on several replica servers, a CDN is accompanied by a certain loss of control.
Suboptimal for dynamic content
Dynamic content such as news tickers and shopping carts rely on their own databases and are not suitable for caching, which is why CDNs perform sub-optimally here (in contrast to static content).
Faster loading times are good for SEO, but a CND can still be problematic from an SEO perspective, since content is hosted on third-party servers. The content on the CDN may therefore not be up-to-date. An increased risk exists, for example, with image descriptions and snippets.
Although CDNs, like other digital solutions, are not free of disadvantages, they do bring with them some decisive advantages. Whether it ultimately makes sense to use them depends on the respective company. Visitors benefit first and foremost from faster loading times, which contributes to higher satisfaction and thus also benefits website operators. In general, the performance of a website can be improved immensely through the use of a CDN
Here is an overview of the complete articles of the blog series "Content Delivery Networks - versatile networks with a high potential"