How we built SuperPoPs for our next generation CDN

hardwareEarlier this week, we announced the first expansion of our CDN infrastructure. When we launched LeaseWeb CDN back in June, we were serving 18 Gbps of data traffic. Since then, we have attracted new customers, pushing bandwidth usage to 150 Gbps. To support this growth, we had to significantly expand our infrastructure using SuperPoPs. Now, the word SuperPoP might sound nice, but what does it actually mean? What makes these PoPs so “Super”?

Behind the scenes: Putting the Super in SuperPoPs
Using their vast knowledge of High Performance Computing (HPC), our CDN team designed the innovative clusters that power our CDN platform. These clusters are designed to resolve scaling issues when running high-traffic websites:

  • All clusters sport a 160 Gbps (4 x 40 Gbps) uplink and a 48 x 10 Gbps internal network
  • Each edge node also has a caching capacity distributed over 24 internal 512 GB Enterprise SSD disks
  • Two additional distributed storage layers provide optimal performance

This creates a scalable and distributed multi-layer caching setup that is fully redundant and can offer up to 100 Gbps bandwidth capacity. We dubbed these clusters SuperPoPs, inspired by the HPC-term supercomputers.

Tuning and tweaking
We built and deployed four of these SuperPoPs, increasing our CDNs capacity by 400 Gbps. This enabled us to offer LeaseWeb CDN in two options: Pay-as-you-go and Enterprise. Pay-as-you-go is a standardized solution that you can easily order through our website. But LeaseWeb always wants to offer something that fully matches a customer’s need, so they can achieve maximum performance. This is where our Enterprise solution plays a role. Because we created our CDN fully in-house, we can tweak all the parameters of our Enterprise option to help individual customers achieve their scaling goals. For example, we can tailor our caching solution to meet specific requirements.

But the tweaking doesn’t stop at the hardware layer – you can optimize the experience of your end-users yourself using the real-time analytics available via our control panel. To provide these analytics, we implemented a MapReduce algorithm that gets its data from our database cluster, which runs on 12 nodes, each equipped with 2 fast CPUs and 192 GB of RAM. This distributed database cluster currently processes over 25,000 requests per second! On the software architecture side, we also chose an innovative path. We provide a high performance RESTful API for our customers, which also powers our CDN control panel software.

The next steps
Using our SuperPoP blueprint, we will continue to build high-capacity nodes to the platform. The next SuperPoP will be deployed in Asia. And when they are not travelling around the world, our highly skilled CDN engineers are continuously adding new features to our control panel and API. This is only the beginning of LeaseWeb CDN. With our global reach, customizable solutions, and passionate team, the future is shining bright!

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