Monday 16 October 2023

Enhancing Performance and User Experience with Cloud Computing and CDNs


In today’s digital era, cloud computing has become vital to the efficient running of businesses as the benefits they gain are numerous. Organisations get access to a vast network of on-demand resources, without having to invest in hardware or software thereby saving significant costs. Being scalable, cloud computing solutions enable organisations to add or remove resources based on customer needs. These solutions are used for data storage, application hosting, and content delivery. With the rapid growth of cloud solutions ensuring optimal user experience and performance are becoming vital. It is here Content Delivery Networks or CDNs play a key role in elevating cloud performance, optimising content delivery, reducing latency, improving scalability, and enhancing user experience.

How do CDNs work?
CDNs improve web performance by significantly reducing the time required to send files,
images, and videos to numerous servers strategically located across the globe. The servers are used to cache data enabling users or customers to access content from the server that is closest to them. Let’s say a website is based in Tokyo and the end-user accesses the website
from London. The CDN will serve the user from a London-based server that is closest to the end user rather than from the origin server in Tokyo. The solution minimises the gap between web content and the end users, enhancing application performance and user experience with the loading of content at speed. Furthermore, CDN also distributes the traffic load ensuring requests do not overwhelm a single server.

Enhancing Website Performance
CDN is more useful for websites that have global audiences. With servers placed across
various locations, they help reduce the distance between physical devices and the content users are looking for. With improved responsiveness and faster load times, the website performance is enhanced. In this scenario, requests for content are done across the network with load-balancing algorithms. This also ensures no single server is overloaded, thereby optimising the usage of resources and delivering consistent performance. Moreover, the strategically placed CDNs enable seamless scalability to adapt to the fluctuating traffic demands, while ensuring flexibility, dependability, speed, and smooth user experience.

The caching provided by CDNs eventually helps in reducing bandwidth costs and the complexity of managing an infrastructure can be reduced too. Today several organisations are using CDNs to cache website content so as to meet their performance requirements, especially related to cloud applications, online shopping, and video streaming, where performance has high priority.

Optimising User Experience
In today’s era which is all about digital experiences and user satisfaction, CDNs play a crucial role here. They have transformed the way users interact with websites and applications by delivering content swiftly and seamlessly. Users are kept engaged with faster loading speeds and response rates leading to their satisfaction. CDNs also store multiple copies of content on various servers, so if one of the servers is experiencing issues, content can still be seamlessly delivered from other sources ensuring continuous access with fewer disruptions.

By caching content on edge servers, there is no necessity to retrieve data from the origin server every time a user makes a request. Moreover, users from any geographical location across the globe can enjoy a consistent performance. CDNs can also effortlessly handle traffic spikes by adapting dynamically to accommodate the load whenever there is an increase in user demand and maintain optimal performance. Slow load times can be fixed by using a CDN to cache the website and be made available to visitors faster. It can be used to optimise images on the website, reduce bounce rates and reduce quality content.

CDNs which are placed at the network edge, and equipped to balance loads can also stop
overwhelming the origin server with voluminous requests. Volumetric DDoS attacks and
website downtime or crashes can be prevented with CDNs. By mitigating such risks, users
can be assured of secured content access.

As businesses continue to rely on cloud-based services, CDN is one of the most effective
ways to enhance the end-user experience for visiting the website. CDNs are extensively
leveraged across various industries and applications, especially where there is an online
presence. In the e-commerce vertical, CDNs ensure reliable and fast delivery of product
images, written descriptions, and videos to potential customers. Better user experience
contributes to higher conversion rates and builds brand loyalty among customers. Gaming
companies use CDNs to enhance the gaming experience with fast downloading of content
and updating of software. The immersive experience of gaming is maintained with reduced
latency and better responsiveness. Media platforms depend on CDNs for delivering
uninterrupted entertainment experiences for their customers, across various geographical
locations. CDNs are used in educational institutions to deliver online courses and other
educational resources to learners.

The future digital landscape will continue to be transformed and powered by CDNs, the
foundational technology for effective, reliable, and quick delivery of content across the
globe.


By Rahul S Kurkure, Founder and Director, Cloud.in

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