Akamai, a content delivery network (CDN), came out with its most recent State of the Internet report, detailing performance in Q1 2009. They do quite a bit of analysis so they usually release the report 4 or 5 months after the end of each quarter.
What is a Content Delivery Network (CDN)?
CDNs contract with website owners to help them deliver content in a way that is as efficient as possible, increasing speed and responsiveness to end users. Implementing a CDN is #2 on Google speed guru Steve Souder’s list of 14 rules for making websites fast.
How do they do this? CDNs run a set of “edge” servers that disperse copies of content geographically. When a visitor to your website tries to download a Web page, an image, or a video, that content comes from the server in the CDN’s network that is closest to the visitor.
A website visitor in New York will get the content from a server in New York and one in Shanghai might get the content from a server in Hong Kong. By keeping the content as close as possible to the end user, visitors experience the least amount of delay (latency in industry terms). The end result? A faster website and happier users (which has been shown to translate to better sales, for instance.)
…And how do I get one?
As part of our website hosting offering, Dayspring has a relationship with another leading provider, Limelight Networks, which works with companies ranging from MSNBC to Electronic Arts. CDNs typically require fixed-length contracts with a minimum bandwidth commitment in the hundreds of gigabytes (GB) per month. Dayspring’s arrangement with Limelight enables us to offer CDN services at more economical rates for companies that want the benefit of a CDN without needing to commit to all that bandwidth upfront. Contact us to find out more.
Back to the report. Because they sit between website visitors and a number of popular websites, Akamai and other CDN providers like it have a unique vantage point on Internet traffic. Akamai’s report talks about website attack traffic in Q1, notable website outages (including Google’s GMail, Quickbooks Online and LinkedIn), and the rate of broadband adoption across the world.
Some interesting visualizations are included at the end, showing Akamai’s view of the Internet in three separate categories:
These visualizations are based on the number of visitors that Akamai’s distributed network saw for its website owner customers.
The peak news moment in the last 4+ years? President Obama’s election, which clocked in at 8.5 million peak visitors per minute.
Turbo-charge your website
Interested in turbo-charging your web site’s performance? Talk to us about adding content delivery network services to your web hosting.