So, I recently transitioned part of my blog to the Amazon CloudFront Content Delivery Network. I have to say that latency has improved for my users thankfully.
So, whats a Content Delivery Network (CDN)? Well, basically its a service one can use to store and deploy the static content of their website. The Amazon CDN utilizes AmazonS3 for the storage facility. From there, the files stored are deployed to various edge servers. These edge servers are globally positioned, in strategic locations to provide fast access to all your S3 files.
For example, my server is located in Texas. Its a mid level server, nothing super exciting. Well, one the benefits of using a CDN… The server can process memory intensive functions, while the CDN handles deployment of the static content (stuff that doesn’t normally change). The biggest benefit, comes from the fact that if there is a user in London looking at my site, the files are cached on an edge server in London. So, its much faster than if that user had to wait for my server to push the data all the way over to them. Meanwhile, a user in Los Angeles will be accessing these files off a server much closer to them. Thus, improving each users experience.
Another great thing about the CDN… lets say that server in Los Angeles was having an issue. It would automatically send the user the content from the Palo Alto, CA server. So, there is a lot of redundancy of the content these servers are pushing out to the users. Im very happy so far with the speed of my site, and the fact that there is redundancy of these static files is great.