Many web applications serve a geographically distributed user base. Site operators often utilize content delivery network (CDN) services to address performance issues that result from a globally dispersed set of users. As adoption of CDNs has increased users consistently cite challenges that are a consequence of CDN architecture. Foremost among these are:
The proliferation of cloud computing and the increasing sophistication of application delivery controllers (ADCs) has brought into focus new approaches to address the limitations of CDNs. Riverbed has leveraged both technologies to create a platform called the Content Delivery Cloud (CDC).
The nucleus of the CDC is Riverbed’s Stingray Traffic Manager. In addition to balancing workloads for applications and services, Stingray controls and optimizes services by inspecting, transforming, prioritizing and routing traffic. The software form factor of the product allows it to be deployed quickly in virtualized and cloud environments.
A CDC is built out starting with a Stingray cluster at the location where the application resides. Acting as a reverse proxy, Stingray terminates requests from end users and load balances traffic over optimized connections to the application. The strain placed on application infrastructure is reduced via networklevel buffering, protocol optimizations, dynamic compression and caching. The result is reduced latency, increased capacity & availability and enhanced service levels. Stingray deployment requires no change to the application so these benefits are achieved quickly and painlessly.
To expand on this architecture two advanced features of stingray come into play:
Now additional Stingray Traffic Managers can be deployed at one or more edge locations closer to end users. After GLB routes a request to the best available edge location, Stingray determines if the requested resource is available in its local content cache. If the resource is not available locally, or is dynamic, the edge Traffic Manager requests it from the origin site and stores static objects for subsequent requests. The CDC can grow and shrink as required. As demand increases, a new edge location can be quickly deployed. Similarly, an edge location can be removed as traffic levels decrease, without impacting the ability to deliver the service.
The geographical reach that cloud providers deliver means an application owner can build out a CDC for a fraction of the cost of similar CDN services. Combined with tangible improvements in flexibility, control, security and scalability, the choice becomes clear.
Riverbed has partnered with leading cloud service provider, Joyent, to make deployment even more straightforward. Their points of presence and the ability to deploy Stingray directly from the Joyent self-service portal allow a complete CDC infrastructure to be built in just hours.
For more information on the Riverbed Stingray ADC and Content Delivery Cloud solution, visit: Stingray Content Delivery Cloud.
For more information on the CDC in the Joyent cloud please visit Joyent CDC.
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