There are multiple parameters that can influence choice of CDN service and the importance of points of presence is always highlighted because these serve as robust links between the content and end users’ devices. This explains why POPs are positioned at strategic locations to enable ease of accessing content by users in those particular locations.
It is not surprising that many individuals consider the number of POPs as an important parameter for choosing CDN services. One must note that greater density of POPs can lead to slower page loading effect. It is therefore essential to analyze real impact of POPs on quality of CDN hosting services.
Relevance of higher POPs density
POPs work as a bridge between end users and content besides offering a wide range of attributes. These are also reckoned for their load balancing features and have remarkable ability to support redundancy. More number of POPs is an essential prerequisite for services that cater to global audiences or deal with longer videos and other media.
Globalization has intensified efforts of more and more organizations to extend their reach across remote geographical locations as well as emerging markets including Asia and China. It is far much easier to access content from a local CDN POP than travelling across continents to gain access to main servers.
CDNs are commonly used for the purpose of load balancing because it is much more economical to engage a CDN for delivering content rather than paying huge subscription for acquiring a larger provider.
Need for more number of POPs is often overestimated and the decision to implement surplus POPs results into excessive payment for the CDN resource. Smart use of CDNs powers Netflix, which ranks third among global contributors of the highest internet traffic. Thanks to implementation of its Open Connect program, Netflix is able to cache hundreds of TBs of video content to cater to regions that account for huge demand.
Prior to implementing its in house Content Delivery Network, Netflix was banking on wide spectrum of third party Content Delivery Networks for achieving load balancing. Relevance of such large gamut of CDNs continues to be a matter of investigation.
Why more is not merrier
Every organization may not be able to build a homegrown CDN facility like Netflix and moreover such high level of customized services are usually not required by companies. In fact a third party CDN can also help manage traffic with remarkable reliability and economy.
It is more important to place a few CDN POPs at right locations than having and excess number of POPs that may not be relevant to the density of visitors. A right CDN architecture is governed by considerations about economy and dependability.
Many times people are so much impressed with the number of POPs that are being offered by a CDN service, that they are not able to understand relevance of these POPs in association with the users. There is hardly any sense in having several POPs in Asia if your user base is situated in Europe.
One can always compare vital features of different CDN providers such as relevance of POPs as compared to visitor profile, availability of an engineering support to gain maximum advantage of POPs, and capability for rapid provisioning and purging.
It is obvious that many companies use the revenues collected by users to establish a globally dispersed network. That means if you require POPs in US or Europe, you are unknowingly paying for other POPs in Australia or Asia which are helping other clients.
This underlines the significance of finding a right CDN provider that respects your customer base and provides exclusive network of POPs accordingly. It will also guarantee that your money is being used for supporting POPs that are being accessed by majority of your users.
One should also be aware of cache problems since it is not as easy to cache dynamic content as static content. Many requests for dynamic content are relayed to origin server, thus limiting the actual advantages and defeating the very purpose of CDN services. It also leads to wastage of CDN resources that execute replication of content throughout the network of POPs.
Decision to add a POP in any particular region is influenced by several factors. A second POP becomes essential if the first Point of Presence is handling excessive volume of large media files and there is a substantial growth of visitors in that region. If you are dealing with static files, then a higher density of POPs will certainly a big advantage for you. These static files are often available at POP locations in the form of cached content and the same is instantly delivered to visitors.
Thanks to analytics services including Clicky or Google analytics, it is now easier to identify the location of your visitors as well as the level of your site’s performance as far as your visitors in a particular region are concerned. This can facilitate selection of the right CDN service which respects relevance of POPs rather than the numbers.
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