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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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So you already know that you require a CDN to deliver your web assets but now you need to know how to get your content ready for delivery. Here at Mydeo, we offer two methods for uploading your content to the CDN for superfast global distribution.

 

FTP 

 

If your plan is to offload your content library onto Mydeo, then FTP is definitely the best way moving forward. The process is very simple and only requires the user to have an FTP client installed on their local machine. There are many decent FTP clients out there and the majority of the best ones are completely free. If you need a free, easy to use FTP client, then Mydeo suggests FileZilla. You can download FileZilla FTP Client here: https://filezilla-project.org/download.php. Do make sure you download the client version and not the server edition…

Once you have your FTP client installed, you will need three things to connect to the network and these are: Host address, Username and Password. If you’re using FileZilla, these fields are located near the top of the window. If you’re using another FTP client, the process is usually the same and very straight forward.

Once you’ve logged into your FTP folder, if it’s a new set up, there probably won’t be much going on but the best way to think about it is simply your new empty folder that’s located on the CDN. From here you’re able to upload directly to your route directory (main folder) or you can create a folder structure very similar to that of your local ‘My Documents’ folder found on every PC. At Mydeo, we find that our customers enjoy having the ability to completely define their directory layout within the FTP folder as it makes it very easy for them to manage.

As soon as content has been uploaded, it is immediately available for delivery over the CDN using a predefined URL called a publishing URL. The publishing URL is directly linked to your route FTP folder with a predefined path such as ‘http://llnw.mydeo.com/ftpFolder’. From there, you only need to add the file name plus extension and you’re ready to go (http://llnw.mydeo.com/ftpFolder/file.ext). If your file is within a directory you created, you also need to reference the folder name within the URL (http://llnw.mydeo.com/ftpFolder/directory/file.ext). We supply you with a publishing URL when you sign up.

To add a personal touch to your publishing URL, you can request a CNAME to be set up in its place. As long as you own the domain, we can set up your content so it delivers from a sub-domain created on your DNS. This is very quick and simple to configure and the majority of our clients go for this option.

 

Customer Origin (Origin Pull)

 

Mydeo also offers Customer Origin which is mainly for those who already have a large established library of content sitting on their existing servers. Customer Origin is great because technically, you never have to upload a single file. To configure Customer Origin, you will need to provide us with a source address to your servers. This can either be a top-level domain, sub-domain or even an IP address. Once configured, your server in essence becomes part of the CDN and your content can be pulled straight from your own origin. To deliver your content over the CDN, you’re given a unique publishing URL (again this can be a CNAME). When the published URL is requested, that file is pulled from your servers, delivered to the user and then cached on the network. The next time that file is requested; it then delivers straight from the CDN cache rather than your servers.

Customer origin gives you all the benefits of CDN caching and delivery but you retain complete control over your content as it’s stored on your own servers. It can also prove much more cost effective because you won’t be paying for CDN storage fees.

So there you have it, two very functional ways of having the CDN deliver your content. Both options have their plus points but really it’s down to your circumstances as to which method you choose to go with.

For more information on FTP, Customer Origin or any of our other services, you can contact us by email: m3@mydeo.com or by phone: +44 208 540 2300. We’re always happy to help.

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m3 uploading options

Mydeo m3 uploading options and explanations

Below is a list of the various different options we have for uploading media on to the CDN and a brief explanation of each.

Web upload

Most users will be able to use the web upload to get content on to the CDN. This is the simplest way to get started. Once you have logged into your m3 account just go to the ‘upload media’ page, browse for your file and click upload. Once that is done the file will appear in your ‘media manager’. This method of uploading is only suitable with a reliable internet connection as it cannot resume a failed upload.

FTP

While we encourage people to use the web upload function we can supply customers with FTP accounts to get their content onto the CDN. This takes place outside of m3 and we have a separate system for stats retrieval but the same information will be available to you. We do understand that sometimes it is necessary for customers to use FTP so if you do need it please feel free to contact us to discuss this.

Customer origin

Some customers already have their own servers and manage their content on those servers. Customer origin is simple a way for the CDN to gather that content from your servers and distribute it throughout the network. This of course does require you have your own servers.

If you have any questions about any of these methods for uploading, please do not hesitate to contact us on m3@mydeo.com – we would love to hear from you.

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Mydeo now have the ability to collect content from your servers and deliver it via the Limelight CDN. This is what is known as customer origin. Basically, your server will become part of the network and you will not have to upload your content anymore. This is particularly useful for people who already manage content on their own servers and do not want to do it in two locations – it is a great way to switch to using a CDN without the major hassle of uploading everything. We can set up a customer origin for any customer who is on an m3 plan and has their own server where the content will be hosted. If you would like more information about this or anything else, please do not hesitate to contact us on m3@mydeo.com.

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