Community Blog Alibaba Cloud CDN: The Best Choice When You Enter the APAC Market

Alibaba Cloud CDN: The Best Choice When You Enter the APAC Market

This article shares an explanation of what a CDN is and why it is essential for enterprises as we move into the 5G era.

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By Alibaba Cloud CDN Team.

In the 5G era, users will experience high-speed uploads and downloads, while 4K and 8K livestreaming will create both benefits and challenges for content delivery networks (CDNs.) As the need for intelligent computing steadily increases, edge computing will become a trend in the industry. By using a CDN, you can deploy more computing and storage resources to the edge, where your customers can conveniently access and configure them. Many cloud service providers offer CDNs as core capabilities for their infrastructure products.

The traditional CDN industry was characterized by a few dominant players before the advent of cloud computing. An increasing number of enterprises need CDNs to handle traffic peaks driven by e-commerce, mobile apps, videos, and live streaming. This has been the driving force behind the transformation of the CDN industry. The development of cloud-based CDNs has taken off in recent years. This has benefited the industry through more flexible resource configuration, more robust large-scale data processing capabilities, enhanced price transparency and affordability, and better utilization of cloud computing platforms. CDNs can be combined with cloud computing services for further benefits in resource configuration and large-scale data processing as well as reduced storage costs. For example, cloud computing can solve the high latency and lag problems typical in live streaming. Additionally, cloud computing platforms provide a wide range of supporting services, such as data mining and elastic scaling. The CDN landscape has already changed a great deal.

Since 2009, Alibaba Cloud has invested heavily in building an intelligent cloud ecosystem that includes CDN services. In Gartner's "Market Guide for CDN Services" published in 2019, Alibaba Cloud was named a global service provider because of its global service capabilities and product technology advantages. This signals Alibaba Cloud's ability to provide access services in business and consumer hubs across five continents.

Alibaba Cloud Content Delivery Network (CDN) provides more than 2,800 edge nodes to serve over 300,000 customers worldwide, with a bandwidth reserve of 200 Tbit/s. It accelerates millions of domain names and processes billions of refresh operations every day. To date, it has distributed a total of over 166.7 EB of data. Alibaba Cloud CDN has been used to support the Double 11 Global Shopping Festival for over 11 years. It was also instrumental for livestreaming the 2018 Russia World Cup. The experience gained from these applications allowed Alibaba Cloud CDN to develop sophisticated solutions and comprehensive emergency response plans tailored to scenarios with high video concurrency. Alibaba Cloud CDN provides targeted solutions for a variety of scenarios, such as video-on-demand, livestreaming, image transmission, HTTPS transmission, large file transfer, player SDK, and content moderation. This helps maximize customer profits.

Four Reasons to Choose Alibaba Cloud CDN

Reason 1: Flexible and Transparent Pricing

The Alibaba Cloud self-service platform provides a flexible and transparently priced self-service model, allowing you to complete configuration without in-depth technical knowledge.

Alibaba Cloud CDN went public in 2014. Alibaba Cloud was one of the first enterprises to launch a cloud-based CDN with support for pay-as-you-go billing and one-click configuration. This solved the deep-rooted price transparency problem typical of CDN services and initiated a revolution in the industry.

Alibaba Cloud CDN is an out-of-the-box product. It can be started with one click and takes effect in one minute. This allows you to lower management costs and quickly realize the benefits of acceleration. It avoids the long response times due to manual interaction, improves O&M speed and efficiency, and provides a smoother user experience.

To meet users' individual needs, Alibaba Cloud launched EdgeScript, which is a language designed for programmable CDN configurations. It is widely used in the development of custom business flows. EdgeScript lets you quickly build personalized CDN-based business systems, such as authentication, remote authentication, request and response control, access control, A/B testing, cache policy, throttling, and M3u8 rewriting systems. This allows you to implement agile business iteration, shortening the delivery cycle from 2-4 weeks to less than one week. In addition, Alibaba Cloud EdgeRoutine (ER), an edge serverless compute environment, allows you to run written or compiled JavaScript or WebAssembly code on CDN edge nodes. After you upload the code, it is deployed and executed worldwide. You do not have to concern yourself with the servers, regions, scheduling, or scalability.

Reason 2: All-in-One Platform

Alibaba Cloud provides all-in-one services, including Domain Name Service, storage services, and cloud-based CDN services.

In addition to CDN services, Alibaba Cloud also provides Domain Name Service and Object Storage Service (OSS) to help you quickly launch services and reduce management and operational costs. Alibaba Cloud is the largest domain name service provider in Asia. We provide a range of user-friendly, secure, fast, stable, and affordable services, such as domain name registration, management, analysis, protection, Domain Name System (DNS), and ICP filing. Alibaba Cloud provides technical support for more than 40 million domain names worldwide.

To serve customers worldwide, Alibaba Cloud connects CDN and OSS to 13 regions: USA (Virginia), USA (Silicon Valley), Germany (Frankfurt), France, UK (London), Russia (Moscow), India (Mumbai), Indonesia (Jakarta), China (Hong Kong), Singapore (Singapore), Japan (Tokyo), Australia (Sydney), and Malaysia (Kuala Lumpur.) Alibaba Cloud provides fee exemptions on a per-user basis in the following three scenarios: (a) Back-to-origin data traffic from an Alibaba Cloud CDN node outside Mainland China to Alibaba Cloud OSS (b) 100 million read and write requests to OSS per month in each region outside Mainland China (c) Processing of 10 TB of image data in OSS per month in each region outside Mainland China.

Reason 3: Optimized Cross-border Acceleration

Alibaba Cloud provides optimization solutions designed for cross-border scenarios.

To avoid poor user experiences related to slow and high-latency cross-border transmission, Alibaba Cloud CDN provides an optimal infrastructure with superior link quality and availability. DCDN provides IP application acceleration to accelerate TCP and UDP transmission. This function integrates the closest access, intelligent routing, transport protocol optimization, and multiple load balancing technologies to ensure optimal transmission. To help your enterprise solve the problem of slow or delayed access by users worldwide, Alibaba Cloud takes the following three measures to build the shortest and optimal path from the content acquisition region to the consumption region.

We cover more acceleration scenarios.

The full-protocol-stack acceleration tunnel supports acceleration through the Layer-7, Layer-4, and Layer-3 network protocols. This allows it to satisfy more user needs and scenario requirements.

We improve reliability and reduce latency.

Similar to a navigation system, a real-time intelligent routing detection system selects the optimal transmission path in real-time. It can solve transmission failures due to single-line origin sites, traffic spikes, and network congestion. It can also quickly determine and adjust the appropriate transmission route to find a shorter path to the destination. The system provides end-to-end available network connections around the clock, even in remote areas. This reduces error rates and provides an acceleration experience featuring higher reliability and lower latency.

We use a high-performance proprietary transport protocol.

Multi-path data transmission often encounters the problems of data redundancy, data comparison, and lost packet retransmission. Alibaba Cloud transforms the TCP protocol stack to improve the reliability of real-time data transmission. It also implements intelligent route switching in seconds to avoid packet loss during data transmission.

Reason 4: Robust Security

Alibaba Cloud provides secure acceleration and distribution services.

Alibaba Cloud has developed a series of sophisticated security products based on its years of experience in providing assurance services for Alibaba's large-scale businesses. In a Forrester Wave evaluation of native security capabilities in the public cloud field, Alibaba Cloud was the only Asia Pacific cloud service provider included, Alibaba Cloud was ranked as a "Strong Performer." Alibaba Cloud Web Application Firewall is also the only WAF product in the Asia Pacific to be included in the Gartner Magic Quadrant. In light of the technical context and current industry trends, Alibaba Cloud continues optimizing the CDN plus security solution. Some key highlights are listed below:

Multi-level edge protection

CDN nodes provide rich edge protection features. They implement precise access control by using blacklist and whitelist settings, HTTP request analysis, region blocking, and IP reputation scoring. The specially designed frequency analysis engine can intercept IP addresses that initiate abnormal access requests. The highly regarded Alibaba Cloud Web Application Firewall is deployed on each CDN node to effectively defend against web attacks, prevent data breaches, and ensure origin site security.

DDoS protection through Alibaba Cloud CDN and Anti-DDoS

Alibaba Cloud CDN provides certain anti-DDoS capabilities in addition to traffic acceleration. Once the intelligent scheduling system detects a large-scale cyberattack, it directs traffic from the attacked area to a high-capacity distributed scrubbing center automatically. Alibaba Cloud CDN works with the scrubbing center to ensure business continuity and stability whether your business is operating normally or under attack.

Invalid website access requests filtered by an Anti-Bot Service

The Anti-Bot Service extracts the valid features of requests and compares them with the data of an internal database to distinguish normal access requests from crawler access requests. This allows you to improve the end-user experience by intercepting invalid access requests while reducing your CDN bandwidth expenditures.

The views expressed herein are for reference only and don't necessarily represent the official views of Alibaba Cloud.

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