The best CDNs offer rich, granular functionality from which almost any online business can derive significant benefits. However, there are few, if any, schools that teach about CDNs and how to use them. The art of performance engineering is something that is generally learned after entering the professional world; and the world’s biggest websites have teams of performance engineers dedicated to making their online experiences run fast and smoothly. Performance can be a deep and complicated topic. CDN providers do everything they can to improve performance and make it easy on you to get the most out of your investment. The best CDNs offer two key elements for their customers to get the most out of their purchase: robust self-service tools, and world-class expertise.
Robust Self-Service Tools
The best CDNs make your business more agile, and seamlessly fits into a DevOps workflow. To compete online your company needs a CDN for performance, availability and intelligence; but these enhancements are nothing if you cannot bring them to bear as quickly as business challenges arise. To truly get the most out of a CDN, customers should expect granular self-service control over its many sophisticated capabilities to optimize for their needs.
Some of these self-support capabilities include:
- Advanced cache control with the ability to conditionally (e.g. if no login cookie then cache home page) and dynamically (e.g. partition the cache based on productID query string) cache content
- Fast purge capabilities that can rapidly expunge content across a distributed network
- Flexible and simple configuration of capabilities that offer granular control over advanced CDN capabilities such as header and cookie handling, performance optimizations, failover behavior, access control, and edge logic
- Fast configuration deployment that enables cache control and content handling rules to be safely and quickly updated across your network
- Full featured APIs and reporting to allow your organization to further streamline its development process and make the changes you need, when you need them.
While most CDNs offer one or two of these features, by accessing and using these and more in harmony your business can flourish in a world of rapid change and innovation. To get the most out of your investment, building the internal expertise to manipulate self service tools appropriately will let you react immediately to your day-to-day business challenges.
World Class Expertise
Very few companies can do it all on their own. Hiring 24/7 staff with the right skillset and expertise to maintain robust site performance and security is costly and time consuming, and many companies simply do not have the resources to do so. However, by partnering with the right CDN provider, organizations can continue focusing on their core business competencies while leveraging the CDN’s expert resources to optimize their web applications and online events. And even companies that do have the resources to staff their own expert teams will turn to the right CDN provider for help with their biggest challenges. The tighter a company partners with their CDN, the more value they can derive.
Leading CDN providers offer:
- Teams with deep experience who have helped to deliver the Internet’s biggest events and mitigate its largest attacks
- Options for dedicated support with response SLAs
- Core expertise in several key areas including managed delivery services, managed broadcast services, managed security services and website consulting services
Striking a Balance Between Self-Service and Professional Services
To truly maximize the benefits of a CDN investment, CDN customers must strike a balance between knowing what is most effectively handled internally, and when to appropriately spend on professional services. A team of world class experts can guide you through those decisions, and help get the most out of your investment.