With data centres spread out all over the world, huge amounts of content in storage and demand from users across the globe, managing a Content Delivery Network can be intimidating, to say the least. And to top it off, consumers in the digital era have become notoriously picky in their media habits and ever more demanding of better service, more availability and more content. But with a few rules of thumb, a level head on your shoulders and the right tools for the job, Content Delivery Network Management can be a lot more straightforward in practice than it is in principle.
In this blog, we’ll look at the importance of technologies like network visualisation, network monitoring and reporting, fault management and network security in managing a Content Delivery Network as simply as possible.
Make sure you’re using the right CDN
The first thing to be aware of when managing a Content Delivery Network is that there are many options to choose from, and the option you settle on can go a long way towards making management smoother and easier. Typically, Content Delivery Networks are provided as on-demand software, (also known as Software as a Service, or SaaS) and the software provider you choose can result in radically different CDN experiences. Some of the more well-known CDNs, like Microsoft’s Azure CDN and Amazon’s CloudFront, provide a fairly standard set of features, but depending on the nature of the content you’re distributing and the nature of your audience, there might be a more appropriate tailor-made solution out there.
It’s becoming increasingly common for Internet Service Providers to develop their own Content Delivery Networks that improve on-network delivery and reduce demand on the rest of their infrastructures. Opting for a Content Delivery solution that speaks to your needs is a must, so make sure to do some research into the options that are available to you.
Always keep an ear to the ground.
This isn’t just a rule that applies to CDN management – it’s good network management practice all round, but it’s especially relevant for Content Delivery Management. There’s no such thing as a foolproof network system, but having the right monitoring, reporting and diagnostic tools at your disposal means you’ll know about any error as soon as it happens. Keeping tabs on the traffic on each individual server not only keeps you informed of potential failures or downtime, it also gives you a good idea of where your most active customers are at any given time. Because CDNs work by caching content at different server locations around the world, any time a user requests content it is delivered along the shortest route possible in order to increase service and lower costs. By keeping a close eye on the way your customers consume content, you can optimise your CDN strategy to cater to your most prominent customer groups.
As we move into an ever-increasingly content-dependent digital culture, the need for adequate service to thousands or even millions of people at a time is only achievable through clever use of network technologies like CDNs. Furthermore, being able to manage complex distribution network systems will become an increasingly integral part of the modern network manager’s duty. To find out more about managing a stable and highly available network, download our free and newly updated Network Manager’s Guide today.