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Using CDNs to Reduce Network Latency

Using CDNs to Reduce Network Latency

There are two definitions that can be understood from network latency. In relation to overall network performance, latency is the number of milliseconds for your web content to begin rendering in a visitor’s browser.

In relation to network computing, latency is the time taken for a site visitor to make an initial connection with your webserver.

So, by minimizing latency, you will be able to correspondingly reduce page loading time and enhance your site visitor’s experience. Therefore, minimizing latency is highly recommended to any e-commerce sites. If you are a web developer this article will fit you.

How to Measure Latency

There are several methods that you can use to measure latency, such as:

Round-trip time: with Ping, you can measure a round trip time, Ping is a command line tool that bounces a request off a user’s system to any targeted server. RTT is determined by the interval it takes for the packets to be returned to the user.

Network congestion or throttling can occasionally provide a false reading, while the ping value provides a reliable assessment of latency.

Time to first byte (TTFB): After the webserver gets an initial user request, the time taken for the visitor’s browser to begin rendering a requested page is known as time to first byte (TTFB). There are two ways to measure it:

  • Actual TTFB: The amount of time taken for the first data byte from your server to reach a visitor’s browser. Network speed and connectivity affect this value.
  • Perceived TTFB: The amount of time taken for a site visitor to perceive your web content as being rendered in their browser. The time it takes for an HTML file to be parsed impacts this metric, which is critical to both SEO and the UX.

 How CDNs Reduce Your Network Latency

To reduce network latency, you can apply CDNs which work in several ways, such as:

  • Content caching: you can get this benefit through a CDN’s global network of strategically placed points of presence (PoPs); exact copies of your web pages are cached and compressed. As your site visitors are generally served content from the PoP closest to their location, this will greatly decrease RTT and latency.
  • Connection optimization: it is a session reuse and network peering that optimize connections between visitors and origin servers.
  • Progressive image rendering: For any image, a progressive series is overlaid over one another in the visitor’s browser. Each overplay is of a higher quality resolution. The visitor’s perception is that the page is being rendered more quickly in their browser than it would be otherwise.

Reducing the network latency is very important in maintaining your website in its best quality, as it determines your website’s performance and how it can attract more visitors. With these tricks, you can make an awesome website without having to worry too much about slow page loading time problems.

Understanding Web Acceleration

web acceleration

Usually, a high traffic website must support hundreds of thousands or millions of users. Not to mention the demand of user for a fast and reliable website. Therefore, to meet such high volumes, some web developers prefer to add more server hardware.

However, this method can be expensive. So, in order to reduce your operational cost, you can use web acceleration as another option. Web acceleration produces better speed delivery of both static and dynamic content. Furthermore, it will enable your web servers to handle more client request without the need for more hardware.

In general, web acceleration is a content delivery network. It aims to speed up the transfer of content between web servers and client browsers by utilizing a variety of techniques such as caching and compression.

HTTP Optimization
Load balancer or reverse proxy server is one of the primary ways to accelerate web traffic as it flows between clients and backend servers. However, this can create inefficiencies in server utilization and cause poor performance for other users as well.

In HTTP optimization techniques, the load balancer is in between clients and servers. It forwards requests for content to backend servers in a streamlined and efficient way. Therefore, this method maximizes speed and server utilization.

Caching and Prefetching
Rather than fetching it over and over from back end servers, web acceleration server cache or locally store commonly requested information. This will avoid any wasted server resources and increase the speed of content delivery. In fact, to prevent serving content that is out of date, the web accelerator will refresh cached content at a specified interval.

Furthermore, the web accelerator is also able to prefetch and cache content that the user is likely to ask for, such as the next page of a document. This method will enable web accelerator to deliver the content immediately after the user requests it.

To reduce transfer times, a web accelerator will compress large files, such as image or video files.

SSL/TLS Processing
In order to serve content faster, some advanced web accelerators can offload computationally intensive processing from backend servers. For example, encryption and decryption of documents during transmissions secured with Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) or Transport Layer Security (TLS).