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  1. #1

    National US infrastructure for a CDN

    We are looking at setting up a CDN (content delivery network) for a site. The main reason for this is to deliver content as fast as possible to users.

    the latency of, for example hosting the site on the east coast and serving to west coast users may slow down the site, so having strategic entry points (even just 3 - east, west and central) would improve delivery of the site.

    There are some backend components that will be hosted in a single location however, which the frontend / entry points will need to communicate with. We have been looking at various providers, and it seems that most of them dont really have a distributed network across the entire US - specifically, we would want a provider that has presence across the US. In addition to this, we would ideally want to communicate over a private network rather than public internet (we could do our own vpn's), and the biggest factor with having a provider is that the latency within the network is as low as possible.

    Anyone know of any providers that can cater for this?

    We have looked at AWS, but its not feasible for us, as the load balancers only have entry points on the east coast. The cloudfront product is a caching system combined with dns rr, but we need to serve ssl too, so cloudfront will not work.
    Virtual Evolution :: South African and International shared hosting, reseller hosting, dedicated & VPS servers. ADSL, free fax-to-email, iBurst and business applications. Get Evolved!

  2. #2
    Join Date
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    How much content do you plan on pushing?
    Clint Chapman ** www.ubiquityhosting.com ** www.ubiquitycloud.com
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  3. #3
    We dont have final figures as yet, but probably a few 100gb's a month to start. we need the scalability to cater for large increases in traffic during different phases though - i.e. scalability is crucial.
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  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by brettcave View Post
    We dont have final figures as yet, but probably a few 100gb's a month to start. we need the scalability to cater for large increases in traffic during different phases though - i.e. scalability is crucial.
    few 100Gbps? or few 100GB? slight difference in the amount of capacity required for this.

  5. #5
    Considering your low requirements, colocating and buying transit is going to be extremely costly. You could go with dedicated servers until you grow, as it will most likely allow you to tap into a great network, which would otherwise take you a long time to build up across three locations.

    Are you looking to stream flash, or just http delivery? What about file storage?
    Last edited by cristibighea; 09-21-2009 at 11:33 AM.
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  6. #6
    we have servers and a SAN in a data center, but our current provider doesnt have the network presence we need.

    http delivery, a lot of it is secure, so cant be cached. frontend servers could be leased or vm's / vps's (like AWS EC2 instances) at the edge locations, but key is that the edge servers have low latency back to our central server infrastructure. obviously looking at solutions that are more cost effective than buying more servers + san when what we have is powerful enough. its just the network at the moment that is the concern.

    (AWS would be perfect if they had west-coast edge and low latency in the cloud, but they dont).
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  7. #7
    our data transfer is a few hundred GBytes initially.
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  8. #8
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    Honestly look at someone like SimpleCDN for this type of relatively low usage.

    They have a calculator on their site. Certainly they are not the only game in town but for 100gb of disk this has to be cheaper than building your own infrastructure unless you are only talking about a couple of nodes.
    André Allen | E: aallen(a)linovus.ca
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  9. #9
    not 100gb of disk, a lot more disk. But initial bandwidth could be up to 1TB transfer per month to start with.
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  10. #10
    Join Date
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    Am I way off in left field tossing out this link?

    https://vps.net/cdn-signup

    I don't know much of CDN so I apologize if that was a useless suggestion.

  11. #11
    I would second Mekhu suggestion.

  12. #12
    Join Date
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    Your best bet is a national providers, this issue has come up many times and regional providers don't have or seem lacking when it comes to what you are looking for.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by brettcave View Post
    http delivery, a lot of it is secure, so cant be cached. frontend servers could be leased or vm's / vps's (like AWS EC2 instances) at the edge locations, but key is that the edge servers have low latency back to our central server infrastructure. obviously looking at solutions that are more cost effective than buying more servers + san when what we have is powerful enough. its just the network at the moment that is the concern.
    Secure (HTTPS) content can still be cached, so long as the content itself is static. HTTPS connections can be established to the CDN servers themselves. You will however need copies of your SSL certificates on all of the CDN servers for this. Obviously, not every CDN offers this functionality.

    Based on your requirements, I would look at a CDN that operates on their own network and with their own nation-wide backbone, on which you can also place your origin server. This will ensure that your latency is not only low, but also consistent as routing would not be subject to any third party networks. This will narrow down the list for you quite a bit.
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  14. #14
    simplecdn , cachefly, level3 all provide a CDN service and you'd end up paying far less than renting/colocating servers in different areas and trying to manage it all yourself. I've never had issues with level3 but it probably costs more than the others as well.
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  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by hhw View Post
    Secure (HTTPS) content can still be cached, so long as the content itself is static. HTTPS connections can be established to the CDN servers themselves. You will however need copies of your SSL certificates on all of the CDN servers for this. Obviously, not every CDN offers this functionality.

    Based on your requirements, I would look at a CDN that operates on their own network and with their own nation-wide backbone, on which you can also place your origin server. This will ensure that your latency is not only low, but also consistent as routing would not be subject to any third party networks. This will narrow down the list for you quite a bit.
    That's good advice from hhw.

    Can you use the CDN's cert or do you need to use your own?

    Some CDN's will charge more if you need to use your own, up to a couple thousand for an install.

    Mark sure you ask about this while doing your shopping.
    Michael Castrogiovanni
    Highwinds Network Group [email protected]
    480.650.5511

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Phoenix, AZ USA
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    Your CDN

    Have you looked at the Highwinds or the suggested L3 CDN?
    Both are very affordable (if you find the right provider). Some companies offer free trial periods so you can see if it fits your needs.

  17. #17
    Join Date
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    Beaverton, OR
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    Softlayer.com offers server locations in Seattle, Dallas and Washington DC. They also have a private network which connects the DCs.

    I've never used them before but they seem to be fairly well respected around here.

    Regards,
    Jerret
    Last edited by RelativeDesign-Jerret; 09-29-2009 at 03:45 AM. Reason: Can't type...

  18. #18
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    Aug 2006
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    Why do you want to build your own CDN? It is going to be a pain and a lot of work to maintain the servers and monitor them. Consider also what happens when your source or caching server is down.

    I've used Akamai and Limelight for my previous employer and would now use Edgecast.

    I think entry price is something around $ 300 for 250 GB of monthly traffic and they have a decent global network.

    Take a look at their website: http://www.edgecast.com/content_deli...etwork_map.htm

  19. #19
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