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This is going to be a quick guide for our customers who are looking to utilise FTP to upload and manage their content. If you’re not already a customer and are interested in learning more about our various CDN solutions, you can find contact details at the bottom of this article.

For those who’ve never used it, FTP uploading could seem like a daunting task but in reality it’s actually very straight forward and offers you a more effective way to manage your content. There are a few things you need to do before you can start uploading but we will cover these in a step by step fashion below. Firstly however, I will give you a brief description of how FTP works.

FTP stands for File Transfer Protocol and is a means of sending files over the internet for storage at a remote location. It shares similarities with HTTP which is the protocol for which content and websites are delivered from a server to a web browser – however, FTP is only utilised for the transferring of files.

A great way to visualise how FTP works is to look at your ‘My Documents’ folder on your computer. If you access your ‘My Documents’ folder, you will find numerous files and folders which were all saved locally by you on your machine. FTP is a solution that allows you to utilise the internet to view and interact with storage folders much like your ‘My Documents’ folder but in other remote locations. In this case you will be using FTP to access your folder which is located on the Limelight CDN. When you connect to the folder, you create a direct link from your local machine to the CDN so files can be transferred over the internet for remote storage.

FTPdiagram

So moving forward, here are the steps you need to take to get uploading.

Step 1 – Download an FTP client.

An FTP client is a piece of software that allows you to interact with the files stored on the remote folder. It works much like Windows Explorer – Windows Explorer being the utility that you use to navigate your files on your PC.

All you have to do is give the FTP client some connection details and it will connect to your remote folder so you can chose files from your local machine to upload. You can also use the FTP client to create additional folders and generally manage your files.

There are a number of different FTP clients you can use but for this guide, we are going to use FileZilla which is a free, simple to use, open source FTP client. You can start the download by clicking this link: http://player.mydeo.com/filezilla.exe – when installing, please beware of the options you’re clicking as to avoid any unwanted bloat ware. Follow the instructions and install the FTP client.

Once you’ve installed, open your FTP client and you should see something that resembles this:

FTPclient

Step 2 – Connecting  and managing your FTP folder

You should have received from us a welcome letter introducing you to your new FTP credentials. You will now need these credentials to connect to the FTP folder. You need three things: Host address, Username and Password. Towards the top of the FileZilla windows, you should see some boxes where you can enter information. These boxes are labelled: Host, Username and Password – Place the information you have in your welcome letter into the respective fields and then click the button labelled ‘Quickconnect’ – you don’t need to worry about the ‘Port’ field. Assuming the connection was successful and you entered your details correctly, your FTP folder and its contents should appear on the right hand side. See below:

FTPclientConnected

As you can see, we only have one file stored in our FTP folder called ‘welcome.txt’. This serves as a test file which we will come onto later. Looking again at the image above, on the left you can see files on my local machine. In this particular folder I only have a singular files called ‘aFile.txt’. If I wanted to upload that file, I could either drag and drop or right-click and state upload. After a few second, the file would appear in the right had box (my remote FTP folder). So always remember, your local items are on the left and your items stored in the remote FTP folder are on the right.

If you want to create folders to separate your content, you can simply right-click in the white space of your remote FTP folder and select ‘Create directory’. A new folder will show up which you can rename as normal. We find that our customers utilise different folders for different projects or clients because it’s much easier to manage than having just a long list of files.

Step 3 – Creating the URL for delivery over the CDN.

Once you’ve uploaded a file to the FTP folder, it is immediately available for super-fast CDN delivery but you need to create the URL first. This is actually easier than it sounds and involves using your Prepend URL found in your welcome letter. The Prepend URL is linked directly to your master FTP folder. If you have a file in your master folder, this will be accessible via the Prepend URL followed by a ‘/’ and then the full filename and extension as it appears in your FTP client. Remember the welcome.txt test file we mentioned before? Well this file is found in the master folder of HTTP11 which is one of our test FTP folders. The Prepend URL for HTTP11 is: http://mydeo.vo.llnwd.net/o1/http11 – to access welcome.txt, we simply have to add a ‘/’ to the Prepend URL along with the full file name and extension. The full URL will therefore be this: http://mydeo.vo.llnwd.net/o1/http11/welcome.txt. Feel free to copy this into your browser and test.

If your content resides within a folder that’s in your master folder, you simply have to add a reference to the folder in the URL… Imagine welcome.txt was actually found in a folder called ‘testFolder’. The URL would need to reference ‘testFolder’ between two ‘/’ before the file and extension. Here is an example: http://mydeo.vo.llnwd.net/o1/http11/testFolder/welcome.txt – for your benefit, I created ‘testFolder’ in the HTTP11 directory, feel free to test the URL above. In my FTP client it looks like this:

FTPnewFolder

And that’s it! Once you’ve uploaded a few files and created some new directories (folders) you’ll get the hang of it in no time.

If you’re having any problems at all, please do not hesitate to contact us by email: help@mydeo.com or by phone: +44 208 540 2300.

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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.

Content Freshness

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: m3@mydeo.com or by phone: 0208 540 2300, we are always happy to help. Pricing can also be found here on our website.

Many thanks

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