December 2022
5 min

What you should know about a Content Delivery Network (CDN)

CDN series 1: Fundamentals and history


Remember the times you had to wait for your content to load for ages when browsing the internet? The good old days.. Luckily, nowadays it merely takes a few milliseconds.

A huge part plays content delivery network (CDN). Today we’re taking you to our first part of our new CDN series: origins and fundamentals of CDN.

What is CDN

CDN stands for Content Distribution Network or Content Delivery Network. It is a network of proxy servers and their data centers that is geographically distributed across the globe. Spatially distributed, its goal is to provide high availability and performance of service to its end users. In other words, a CDN is a group of servers that speed up the delivery of web content by bringing it closer to where its users are.

Okay, with this out of the door let's now take a look at the history of CDN:

CDN was not originally designed for video

The first CDNs were created in the end of the 90s. Their main purpose was to accelerate static content (such as images), audio and speed website loading.

However, limitations quickly started to appear once the video streaming industry began to drastically increase and grow. Older CDNs failed to compete with advancing technologies and the rapid increase in TBs of video traffic that was being created and streamed. CDNs continued to improve together with the development of cloud computing.

CDNs were optimized to support the growing demand for video streaming and improve interactivity. New hubs were created around the globe which inevitably changed the topology of CDNs: now many started to include video management capabilities. And it continues to grow rapidly today. 

Video platforms nowadays could not operate without having a CDN to cache video and offer high availability and performance.

How CDNs work

Globally spread data centers use caching (a process that temporarily stores copies of files) so that you can view and access web content faster through a server that is close by. This means CDNs cache content and images in proxy servers near your physical location. This allows you to post about your lunch, purchase that pair of shoes on sale or make sure if you can afford them, without having to wait for the content to load.

Imagine you reside in Paris (France) and your favorite US webshop just launched their sale. If you want to view the sale content on the website that’s also hosted on a server in the US, you would experience a very slow content load because the content request has to travel all the way to you across the big blue Atlantic Ocean. Thanks to CDNs that cached a version of the website for you in multiple geographical locations around the world (called Points of Presence or PoPs) you can view the content in a matter of milliseconds. These Points of Presence have their own caching servers that deliver the content close to where you are located. In this scenario in Paris, France. 

What technologies are used with CDN

In more technical terms, CDNs are a layer in the ecosystem of the internet. Content owners and publishers pay CDN operators to deliver their content to its end users. In turn, CDN pays Internet Service Providers, carriers, and network operators for hosting its servers in their data centers. 

Although this seems like a 21st century invention, CDNs have existed since the late 1990s as a means to alleviate the performance bottlenecks of the internet. Just as their internet was turning into a mission-critical medium for people and enterprises, CDNs came into play to deliver content more quickly to its end users. 

Right now CDNs are used to deliver web objects (like texts, graphics, and scripts), objects to download such as media files, software, apps, and documents, live and on-demand streaming media and of course, social media sites. Although you may not have known until now, you have been serviced by CDNs every day. 

Conclusion & takeaways 

In conclusion, CDNs have been around for quite a while, and you have been using them most probably without really knowing it. Thanks to CDNs we no longer have to suffer from loading times or buffering. When you are a content provider yourself and would like to work with a state-of-the-art video platform that provides a private CDN - we got you covered. Discover Kinescope today for free and get a $50 welcome bonus by registering below? Looking for more information? Book your demo today.

Kinescope’s CDN is actually closer to Netflix than those of Akamai

We don't want to brag but .. that's correct. We have HDD able to handle a very high amount of video traffic. Due to Kinescope's caching policy, this enables us to hit ratios of up to 97% or higher!

No more loading time, or buffering, so your viewers can get to your precious content right away. 

Pst, did you know that .. it’s actually a popular myth CDN will load your videos faster? Stay tuned for our next installment of the CDN series to learn more!

What’s a Rich Text element?

The rich text element allows you to create and format headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, images, and video all in one place instead of having to add and format them individually. Just double-click and easily create content.

Static and dynamic content editing

A rich text element can be used with static or dynamic content. For static content, just drop it into any page and begin editing. For dynamic content, add a rich text field to any collection and then connect a rich text element to that field in the settings panel. Voila!

How to customize formatting for each rich text

Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.

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December 2022
5 min