What does next-generation CDN really mean?

For IT teams tasked with managing web applications, optimizing performance often comes to mind. Consequently, the solution of using a CDN imposes itself naturally. A CDN is dedicated to optimize performance and offload the origin site, being deployed on global locations and overcoming inefficient internet protocol.

But the next question is: how does a CDN optimize its own performance and ensure it makes the best out of its hardware?

At LeaseWeb, our cloud hosting experience allowed us to build a strong expertise in complex hardware and network management. We’ve come across all kinds of systems and we extracted all this knowledge to select and build the best possible platform, exclusively dedicated on accelerating each byte that goes through our platform. All of these efforts combined resulted in our CDN offering:

  • Faster web experience for a great end-user experience
  • High availability, balancing resources within PoPs
  • Scalability in order to handle peaks
  • Security of the content on the origin site safeguarded 24/7

We employ the best Linux System Engineers money can buy, and these experts are able to do magic with Linux on commodity hardware. Well … its commodity hardware for us, but probably not for anyone else, as LeaseWeb is able to buy large quantities of cutting-edge servers specially built to order. We work closely with manufacturers, so we even request special firmware’s to be loaded into the hardware. Moreover, we use cutting-edge network equipment that we buy in enormous quantities, as we operate our own 4.0 Tbps network, and carefully select them based on their price/performance ratio.

Our load balancer technology is a typical example of our technical excellence. These Linux boxes are equipped with 40 Gbit network capacities, provided by two dual 10GE cards. With these cards, the server can easily handle over 3.5 million packets per second (PPS) and a throughput of over 18.5 Gbit per second. This effectively utilizes the network cards for more than 90 percent, at an average packet size of less than 1500 bytes.

Each load balancer is capable of forwarding HTTP (layer 7) traffic, while doing deep packet inspection (DPI) without slowing down the traffic. The load balancers look at the HTTP URL and the headers to decide where to forward the request. These machines have one CPU per dual interface network controller, and by adjusting the interrupt strategy and assignment to the various cores, we optimize the throughput, while making sure the latency is not affected.

To conclude, we are glad to say that we are currently operating the smartest CDN platform in the world, which is able to offer lightning-fast throughput at a fraction of the cost of other CDNs, with all the standard features included.
You should benefit from this as well. Visit our website now, and request a trial account so you can get started immediately. My developer colleagues in the CDN team and me are looking forward to be challenged, and can’t wait to hear your story.

Drag & drop infrastructure

code tools
At LeaseWeb, we have quite some experience using various tools to build infrastructure as code. This concept requires a very different way of thinking in order to design and build your infrastructure. Also, the gap between operational and development work is closing quickly, as managing infrastructure nowadays starts to look more and more like managing a software project.

For example, our operations and development teams all collaborate on a big repository of Chef recipes that we use to roll out our systems. Only two years ago their responsibilities, configuration and code would have been totally separated, and it was unthinkable that such an overlap would even exist.

Today, I’ll show two tools that are shaping the future of infrastructure as code. I’ll introduce them quickly and show you how to get up and running with them.

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Five challenges for the Internet of Things (IoT)

After Cloud and Big Data, a new buzzword has arrived on the scene: Internet of Things. Self-driving cars, connected tennis rackets, and connected refrigerators—everything connected. Analysts and companies such as Cisco and Intel predict that 20-40 billion of devices will be connected to the Internet by 2020.

Recently, my colleague Dan Murariu offered his vision on the Internet of Things, seeing it as a great business opportunity that will change the way we live. But before we get to that point, there are a couple of challenges the IoT has to overcome before it becomes the disruptive technological advancement so many are predicting it will be.

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Sneaky P2P tactics with video delivery

LSW_InfographicHello LeaseWeb Blog readers, Lawton Cheney here, writing to you this month about the debatable practice of peer-delivery (P2P) distribution applications in the online video streaming market.

Yes, I said peer-to-peer. And no, we are not going to “party like it’s 1999” with Napster. What we have for a quick discussion here, is an Internet distribution dynamic that we have seen on the Internet before, but with a twist as seen today in the VOD (video on demand) and OTT (over-the-top streaming) marketplaces. If Internet technology and/or a little bit of ethical business practice are things you like to read about – please carry on.

One trend that we are noticing (one that I find questionable practice) in the streaming market is that some platforms are implementing a “peer-to-peer” solution whereby the end-user (i.e. the end-user’s computer, tablet, etc., and upload link to the Internet) is being utilized by some video players to serve and deliver to other end-user customers located within close geographical proximity of the initial end-user.

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SuperMicro BMC Vulnerability reminds you to keep your servers secure

On Thursday 19 June, LeaseWeb learned of the new critical SuperMicro baseboard management controller (BMC) vulnerability that allows retrieving the remote login password via an internet scan on port 49152.

We continuously look out for security issues that may have an impact on our customers. An integral part of preventing or limiting the impact these issues might have, is to make sure as many people as possible know how to deal with them.

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Peer5: making P2P seamlessly accessible

It’s no secret that Israel is a major player when it comes to innovation in general, and in the internet industry specifically.

Remember when we shared the Three reasons why Israel is the world’s hottest tech nation after we visited the country last December? Well, a lot has happened since then, and we’d like to showcase some of our inspiring Logo Peer5Israeli customers who are architecting the future in almost every industry. Some of their initiatives will make your jaw drop!

I’ll be presenting various examples during the coming months, but the first one just has to be one of my favorite startups, Peer5, who developed a way of delivering content including, video, files, games and any other data by connecting users to an efficient P2P network (mesh).

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“Internet of Things” – Part of our Business?

While trying to put my thoughts on paper for this post, I remembered one of the most entertaining TV shows that I recently saw: Shark Tanks. The show features a panel of potential investors, called “sharks”, who consider offers from aspiring entrepreneurs seeking investments for their business or product. Therefore, I start looking forward to all the great ideas and concepts that people wanted to bring to life, and the innovation contained within. The next thing that came to mind was what I consider to be one the most innovative concepts right now: the Internet of Things.

The Internet of Things paradigm

If you would search the Internet for a definition of “Internet of Things” (IoT), you’ll get several versions. It is, after all, a concept that is continuously evolving. However, I consider the definition given by the IERC (European Research Cluster on the Internet of Things) to be pretty comprehensive: “a dynamic global network infrastructure with self-configuring capabilities based on standard and interoperable communication protocols where physical and virtual “things” have identities, physical attributes, and virtual personalities and use intelligent interfaces, and are seamlessly integrated into the information network.”

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Why you need a cookie-less domain

Any website needs a cookie-less domain. This (sub)domain is typically called “static”. It is used to serve Javascript, CSS, images and other static content. The reason for static content to be on a cookie-less domain is that it makes the content load faster. This argument may be counter intuitive, since cookies are small and you would not expect them to have a significant impact. But let me try to explain.

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Designing your application for growth

One of the most common requests we get is whether it is possible to upgrade a server (Bare Metal or Cloud) because the application hosted is too slow. Upgrading a server is not difficult, but what happens if the server has reached its limit? You would have to either migrate to a more powerful server, or if there isn’t one, find another solution such as employing more servers. In theory, the latter sounds easy to do. The only issue is that once you have built the foundations of your application, it becomes difficult to change. This is why it is important to plan in advance before building the application—to make sure that it can scale the right way, when it needs to.

Scalability is a sensitive matter, which highly affects the development of an application. It is not always the first thing developer’s focus on—but it should be when planning for the future. There are two methods of adding resources for an application and those are vertical (scale up) and horizontal (scale out). In this blog, we’ll go over those two methods as it is important to be prepared when developing an application. There is no right or wrong scaling tactic but the overview below will help you understand the pros and cons of both.

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The rise of the API at LeaseWeb

It’s no secret that LeaseWeb heavily relies on automation to manage the large network of services that we offer. Over the last five years, we have been investing a lot in our internal systems and our strategy has been to have them communicate via APIs (specifically web services).

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