Customer Origin is the best way to have complete control over your content but at the same time, utilise the power of a global CDN like Limelight Networks.
What is a CDN?
As you probably already know, a CDN is a collection of servers strategically placed across the globe. When a file that’s being handled by a CDN is requested, a copy of that file is cached to the closest POP to the end user. This means that when another user requests the same file from a similar location, the file is now being served locally. This can do wonders for performance as well as taking critical load off of your own servers. Mydeo utilise the Limelight Networks CDN to provide our customer with global content delivery and site acceleration solutions.
What is Customer Origin?
Customer Origin is an alternative to storing your files straight on the CDN. Basically, Limelight Networks will pull your content directly from your servers eliminating the hassle of uploading and maintaining your content in a second location. This will save you time and money because you won’t be charged for storage space.
When would you use it?
Customer Origin is a great solution when you have tons of content already stored on your own server. Manually moving all your content over onto another storage solution will take valuable man hours which can be costly. Control over HTTP headers is essential to those who want to specify caching policies and how their content behaves. If a file is uploaded to the CDN, there’s no way to control HTTP headers which makes practices such as browser caching impossible. Customer Origin means that, because your content is stored with you, you can determine its behaviour on the network.
How to get set up
To set up Customer Origin, all we would need from you is the address or IP of where your content is being stored. If your content is usually being served in this manner: http://myServer.com/folder/myFile.txt, the CDN will be able to use http://myServer.com/ as the source address. Our network will accept: top level domains, sub domains and specific directories such as: http://myServer.com/folder/. As long as the files you want to deliver over the CDN are accessible from the source you provide, the CDN will be able to handle and cache your content.
Once the source address has been configured and set up on the network. You will be given a Publishing URL. In most cases you can specify what this is so most of our customers follow this format: http://cdn.myCompany.com/. To use the network for content delivery you use the Publishing URL which maps directly to the source address. Going back to my source address example: http://myServer.com/, you would be able to call the same example file using this format: http://cdn.myCompany.com/folder/myFile.txt.
The final point that needs to be raised is regarding content freshness. If the file is changed on the origin, will the cached ‘older’ copies of the file (that have been stored on the edge) continue to be delivered?
By setting the Time-To-Live (TTL) header on your content, you’re telling the network how often it needs to check back with the origin to see if the file has been removed or modified. In most cases this is set somewhere between 24 – 72 hours because making too many freshness checks could have an effect on performance. If there’s a particular case where a file or a whole range of files needs to be removed from the network quickly, we can make a purge request. Purging will remove all traces of that file or collection of files from the edge and force all new requests to be called from the origin, resetting the caching process.
I hope this has given you a better understanding of how we set up Customer Origin and how the network handles your content. If you ever have any questions regarding Customer Origin or other CDN solutions, you can get hold of us by email: firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone: 0208 540 2300, we are always happy to help. Pricing can also be found here on our website.