CDN speed testing
08 Sep 2015

CDN speed testing

CDN systems became a really useful tool to improve website characteristics for a lot of online businesses all over the globe. Such systems use principle of technological proximity to satisfy requests better and better each day. Multiple servers are located in different geographic areas all over the world. Content distribution companies copy a popular content from the origin server and store it on delivery servers. This helps to deliver requested content faster from the closer distance. Technological proximity consists of geographical proximity of server and its characteristics – available ports and channel’s speed.

CDN speed can be defined by such performance metrics as server response time performance, individual page elements speed and hosts speeds. Monitoring tools can help with tracking of the response time. This indicator is very important to decide whether or not to invest money to a specific CDN. If the response time with a content delivery shows better results, investment can make sense. Otherwise, it is better to test other content distribution networks. Even more, for some small businesses such monitoring can show that it is better to invest money into a website optimization, not into a content distribution. Usually this applies to small businesses, which work in a geographically small area.

Individual page elements speed is a very important indicator. Unfortunately, a lot of monitoring tools show only a consolidated page load time of the HTML file. Surely, this information can be useful, but only in combination with an individual page elements information. Consolidated page load time speed is not a true indicator of a CDN’s efficiency. The reason is that individual page elements are not uniform. Such elements can be static and dynamic, primary hosted and third-party hosted (including content distribution data). Working together such elements form web page itself. That is why it is important to work with a monitoring company, which can show individual page elements properties. Like with server response time, individual page element characteristics (with and without content delivery) can show CDN effectiveness.

CDN speed test (hosts speeds monitoring) is very important when online business uses content delivery. Content distribution companies use a lot of servers all over the globe to optimize hosts speeds. Sometimes there are thousands of servers located in dozens of Pops (points of presence). It is not surprising, that such big systems periodically give failures. Usually this does not apply to the whole system, just to some elements. Thanks to host speed monitoring this problem can be solved for businesses. The goal of monitoring is to find which of delivery servers do not working properly. According to this information, a webmaster can move some of backups for distributing content to more efficient and faster servers. However, it is always difficult to identify appropriate nodes that are responsible for problem. Not every monitoring company can show this kind of information, but it is very important to select such company for those businesses that are going to work with a CDN.