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.

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