Community Blog Alibaba Cloud CDN: What Is It and How Does It Work?

Alibaba Cloud CDN: What Is It and How Does It Work?

This article explains everything there is to know about Alibaba Cloud Content Delivery Network (CDN).

By Rupal Shirpurkar, Business Head (Cloud BU – APAC) of Click2Cloud Inc. and Alibaba Cloud MVP

Alibaba Cloud CDN consists of nodes that are distributed globally. Alibaba Cloud CDN prevents congestion on the network by reducing the load on origin servers. Alibaba Cloud CDN can accelerate content delivery for websites in a variety of regions or scenarios.

Files can be cached globally using Alibaba Cloud CDN. It is possible to retrieve resources directly from edge nodes rather than origin servers. This way, content can be delivered faster, and origin servers are less stressed. Several edge nodes support IPv6.

Content Delivery Network (CDN) accelerates content delivery. Alibaba Cloud CDN reduces the physical distance between the server and the user to minimize delays while loading web content. Users worldwide can view the same high-quality content without slowing down the loading speed. Your website will load faster if you use Alibaba Cloud CDN.

Here's an example of how CDN works. Think about a situation where you have users worldwide accessing a server down on a website. People are trying to access the website while the server is down from different locations, such as Hong Kong, Beijing, and Singapore. All of them access a website hosted in the same location. For those users, the website runs slower based on how far their location is from the server. CDN can remedy this situation.

This speed is increased by reducing the distance between the user and the content. Alibaba Cloud CDN endpoints are placed as widely around the world as possible. Scheduling, links quality, caching, and support systems are all part of Alibaba Cloud CDN.

Fig 1: A diagram of Alibaba Cloud CDN's architecture

  • An array of scheduling and policy options are supported, including Domain Name System (DNS) resolution, HTTPDNS, and 302 redirections. Once the DNS resolution has resolved the client's request, the scheduling system handles the request.
  • A system monitors and reports the health conditions of all nodes and links in real-time to the scheduling system. The scheduling system determines the best access point based on the IP address information of requests, such as the Internet Service Provider (ISP).
  • Requests are forwarded to edge nodes based on the request's access points. A cached resource that has already been cached on the edge nodes is returned to the client immediately if it is already available on the edge nodes. If the requested resource is not cached on the L1 or L2 nodes, the request is redirected back to the origin server. The retrieved resource is also returned to the client once it has been cached on the edge nodes. In subsequent requests, the edge nodes can provide resources directly. Alibaba Cloud CDN accelerates content delivery is accelerated, reduces bandwidth consumption, and enhances the user experience.
  • Managing the five-hundred-meter Aperture Spherical Radio Telescope's data intelligence and configuration controls is the support system. You can monitor resources, analyze data, and manage configurations with the support system.
  1. Cache Monitoring: Keep track of the cache service's status. The number of questions per second (QPS), bandwidth, and HTTP status codes of a domain name accelerated by Alibaba Cloud CDN are monitored.
  2. Analyzing the top N frequently requested URLs, page views, and unique visitors of your Alibaba Cloud CDN domain name can also help you analyze data.
  3. Cache expiration rules can be created and managed to enhance the efficiency of caching. Cache expiration rules can be created for specific types of documents or parameters.

Key Features and Benefits

Alibaba Cloud CDN can separate the acceleration of static and dynamic content. Some of the benefits are listed below:

  • A Large Number of Nodes: Alibaba Cloud CDN routes requests to the closest servers owned by the client's Internet Service Provider (ISP). Content can be delivered faster and more efficiently across ISP borders with this approach.
  • Resource Scalability and Availability: Alibaba Cloud CDN has over 2,500 global edge nodes, enabling the company to provide scalable services.
  • Monitoring in Real-Time: Alibaba Cloud CDN keeps track of the edge nodes and routes requests in real-time. The most appropriate nodes are sorted according to the location and Internet Service Provider (ISP) of the client. This increases performance.
  • Connection Optimization: Alibaba Cloud CDN uses various optimization technologies to improve data delivery performance, including protocol and connection optimization.
  • Alibaba Cloud CDN increases cache hits by allowing requests to reach cache on the nearest edge nodes. The delivery of content is streamlined.
  • Edge nodes offer computing power, bandwidth, and connections, reducing IT costs. These savings translate into reduced IT expenses.
  • Alibaba Cloud CDN is capable of high bandwidth: Its total bandwidth can reach 150 terabits per second.
  • Easy-to-Use API: Alibaba Cloud CDN offers a number of API operations.

Fig 2: Advantages of Alibaba Cloud CDN


After finishing this article, you should have an understanding of Alibaba Cloud CDN and how it works. If you use Alibaba Cloud Content Delivery Network (CDN), your web content will be scalable, secure, and smooth, which will reduce your IT costs. You can learn more about Alibaba Cloud CDN by clicking one of the landing page links throughout the article.

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