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  1. #1
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    Affordable CDNs for (really) small sites?

    I've been toying with the idea of moving some of my sites' static assets over to a CDN. But I'm not really the type of site CDNs go after -- I have maybe 5GB/month transfer, and am already on an overpowered dedicated server. The big guys like Akamai would be laughing too hard to give me a quote. But some of the sites I host are very international in nature, and I'm something of a performance freak, hence my interest in moving static assets over to a CDN. I am looking to grow, but it's not like I'm going to grow by orders of magnitude overnight. 5-10GB/month is a comfortable estimation of where I'll be in 6 months, I think.

    CacheFly has caught my attention. Their $15/month plan (300MB disk, 30GB transfer) is well within my needs, and it's within my budget. But I've seen a few other names thrown around, but none seem to reveal pricing upfront. What other CDNs out there might be able to do something for $25/month or less?)

  2. #2
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    I deal with this often with e-commerce companies I work with, where performance is critical but oftentimes they're mostly pushing small objects and hence not a lot of traffic. Your budget is actually pretty high at $5/GB, it's hitting the minimum commit that will be the issue. Your commit is too small to deal with any of the major players directly, but there are partners for each that you may want to check out:

    Softlayer resells Internap's CDN
    Rackspace Cloud Files resells Limelight
    Distribution Cloud resells Akamai (though I think their minimum is still well above your budget)

    Also, I believe CDNetworks/Panther do deals with no minimum commits, so you may want to check them out.

    Aside from Distribution Cloud / Akamai (which will be much higher), you're probably looking at $.20 - $.40 per GB, with storage costs.

  3. #3
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    Cachefly, simplecdn
    Shamil Nunhuck, - Radon Systems Limited
    VPS + Dedicated Server Hosting and Management
    vBulletin / XenForo Hosting and Services
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  4. #4
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    Jan 2002
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    try SimpleCDN

    I've had good results using a service called SimpleCDN.com

    You only have to pay for the actual space and bandwidth you use and you can get started for free. The only thing I don't like about them is they don't have individual file usage logs.

  5. #5
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    There are some hosts which deliver a pay as you grow service; where you simply pay for the bandwidth per GB.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by lockbull View Post
    Softlayer resells Internap's CDN
    Anyone know if there are minimums on their pay-as-you go plan? Their pricing is good, if a couple GB of bandwidth and 1GB storage is fine with them.

    Quote Originally Posted by lockbull View Post
    Rackspace Cloud Files resells Limelight
    Hmm, a similar pay-as-you go offering to what Softlayer has.

    Quote Originally Posted by lockbull View Post
    Distribution Cloud resells Akamai (though I think their minimum is still well above your budget)
    I don't see a minimum, but the categories they have all seem to be aimed at the big guys.

    Quote Originally Posted by lockbull View Post
    Also, I believe CDNetworks/Panther do deals with no minimum commits, so you may want to check them out.
    They're the other ones I'd heard of. No prices on their site, though, so I'm curious about whether or not anyone's gotten them for really small sites.

    SimpleCDN looks like they offer a decent package, too.

    Anyone have experience with any of these guys? Network, customer service, etc.?

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by fog View Post
    Anyone know if there are minimums on their pay-as-you go plan? Their pricing is good, if a couple GB of bandwidth and 1GB storage is fine with them.
    No Minimum (per GB payment), but not sure if you need to be an existing SL customer; otherwise you can probably get it through a SL shared-hosting service provider.

    You do not need storage on the CDN itself if you dont want this; you can use origin-pull which can take data from any location. (with origin pull the file stays a minimum of 24h on the CDN, and this counter resets when the file is accessed). Thus having a small Shared-hosting account on a SL partner which also offers their CDN services would be sufficient to have a real cheap CDN.
    Last edited by 040Hosting; 08-31-2009 at 02:58 AM. Reason: added clarification.
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  8. #8
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    I know VPS.NET resells HighWinds.

    https://vps.net/cdn-signup
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  9. #9
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    Feb 2004
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    Of the choices here, I would probably lean towards Rackspace/Limelight. According to an article I read, Internap's CEO said they are going to be optimizing their CDN for HD video, so it may not be the best choice for small object delivery. While I think these have been rectified, there were some integration snafus early (Internap purchased the VitalStream CDN) that caused some outages and performance problems with Internap's CDN.

    I'd probably stay away from SimpleCDN. They may be a good fit for those looking for a lot more GBs delivered on the cheap, but at 5GB, the price difference between them and somebody more established is less than a cup of coffee. Their network isn't nearly as extensive as some of the big buys that have been around for awhile, plus I've read some less than positive comments online about their billing (accounts randomly get shutdown) and customer service (requests taking days to be responded to).

    I don't know about new deals, but I know someone using PantherExpress (pre-CDNetworks acquisition) that had no commit and only pushed 0.2 Mbps per month (which was <$10). This has been for at least two years, and they haven't been hassled about minimums, so I assume that's still the same policy.

  10. #10
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    How about PAYG CDN? so you buy an amount and use it as you wish? CDN's are moving to this pricing option now and it could be good for you
    General Manager, 100TB
    100TB.com -> 21 Datacenter Locations

  11. #11
    While SimpleCDN is cheap, they have a habit of changing prices and terms with zero notice, and take forever to respond to communication. An example of this was the stormfront service, where you paid a one time rate for disk space, which they quietly reneged on and now charge a monthly rate.

    Further, they do not appear to be decentralized. If something happens to their Chicago location, you can kiss your site goodbye. They are no more a CDN than sticking a server in a colo facility.

    Go with them if you're broke or a hobbyist, but avoid them for anything mission critical.

  12. #12
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    Jun 2002
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    I'm liking what SoftLayer offers, but they're pretty ambiguous about whether you have to be a SoftLayer customers, or if you can sign up just for the CDN.

    RackSpace seems affordable, too, but doesn't seem to offer origin pull.

    LaptopFreak: I'm not sure vps.net is for me. They seem very affordable (1TB for $75 PAYG), but at my rate, that may literally take years. Something to consider, though, for sure.

    Are you still supposed to use four subdomains (www1-4, for example) for static assets so the browser can load them simultaneously, or is that a now-obsolete tuning recommendation? Many of these seem to want you to use one subdomain. Just curious how that's handled.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by fog View Post
    LaptopFreak: I'm not sure vps.net is for me. They seem very affordable (1TB for $75 PAYG), but at my rate, that may literally take years. Something to consider, though, for sure.
    I think that model works better for you actually. You just pay $75 and you can use it forever until you hit 95% and it auto-renews itself, which is better than monthly payment.
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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by fog View Post
    (...)
    Are you still supposed to use four subdomains (www1-4, for example) for static assets so the browser can load them simultaneously, or is that a now-obsolete tuning recommendation? Many of these seem to want you to use one subdomain. Just curious how that's handled.
    I'd say it's the other way around actually. CDN or not, it makes sense to pull your static content from several sources, as most browsers has a max as to how many files it will pull from the same domain at the same time. So, if you link your content from several sources/domains/subdomains - and they are equally fast - your site will simply load faster as browsers will get more files at the same time.


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    Ditlev Bredahl. CEO,
    OnApp.com & SolusVM.com + Cloud.net & CDN.net

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