This topic describes the competitive advantages of Alibaba Cloud CDN in terms of service performance, technologies, pricing, service bundling, and service support.

Alibaba Cloud CDN provides the following advantages:

Cutting-edge features

Global presence

Alibaba Cloud CDN global network is made up of more than 2,800 strategically located points of presence (POPs). Spanning over 2,300 POPs located across 31 provinces in the Chinese mainland, and over 500 POPs located in more than 70 countries and regions, including Hong Kong (China), Macao (China), and Taiwan (China), Alibaba Cloud CDN has a global network capacity of up to 150 Tbit/s. Through leveraging vast network and immense networking capacity, Alibaba Cloud CDN is able to deliver your content to customers around the world with the utmost security, performance, and reliability.

Industry-certified capabilities

  • China DJCP (MLPS) Level 3 certification
  • Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) certification
  • Listed as a global service provider by Gartner
  • IPv6 Enabled CDN Logo certification issued by the global IPv6 Forum

Rich features

Alibaba Cloud CDN provides a diversified mix of features, which can be accessed through the console and API. Customers can manage and configure all aspects of their content delivery through Alibaba Cloud CDN. The following table describes the key features of Alibaba Cloud CDN.

Capability Features
Domain name management Supports the following features: accelerated domain name settings, basic settings, back-to-origin settings, caching settings, HTTPS settings, access control settings, performance optimization, video-related settings, security settings, traffic throttling, quick UDP Internet connections (QUIC), EdgeScript (ES) settings, and IPv6 settings.
Monitoring and usage analytics Supports the following features: resource monitoring, real-time monitoring, resource usage query, ES monitoring, and security monitoring.
Log management Supports the following features: log export, log storage, real-time log delivery, custom operations reports, and tracking tasks.
Refresh and prefetch Supports the following features: URL refresh, directory refresh, and URL prefetch.

Programmable configurations

Alibaba Cloud CDN provides programmable edge computing capabilities. These capabilities are delivered by using EdgeScript through custom configurations. If the built-in configurations provided by Alibaba Cloud CDN are unable to meet your business requirements, you can use ES to create custom configurations. Custom configurations are helpful in resolving issues in an agile manner.

Custom routines at the edge

EdgeRoutine (ER) is a serverless computing environment provided by Alibaba Cloud CDN and Dynamic Route for CDN (DCDN). ER allows you to run custom JavaScript code on POPs. After you use the ER command-line interface (CLI) to deploy code to the production environment, Alibaba Cloud CDN automatically runs the code on all CDN POPs. The CDN POPs process requests in different regions worldwide based on the code deployed. For more information, see ER overview.

Public APIs

You can call API operations to use and manage the features of Alibaba Cloud CDN. For more information, see List of operations by function.

Technical advantages

Intelligent routing

  • Alibaba Cloud CDN implements various optimizations to provide superior routing performance:
    • Dynamic IP library: Alibaba Cloud CDN maintains an IP library that provides information such as regions and Internet service providers (ISPs). The routing system looks up the information whenever a DNS request is sent to Alibaba Cloud CDN. Then, the system routes user requests to the nearest CDN POP that belongs to the same ISP. The IP library is dynamically updated to ensure that the data is up-to-date.
    • HTTPDNS (requires compatibility with clients): HTTPDNS allows clients to bypass the local DNS servers of ISPs and directly access the routing system over HTTP. Then, the routing system redirects the requests to the optimal POP for the destination domain names. This prevents security issues such as DNS hijacking.
    • Node analytics: The routing system of Alibaba Cloud CDN analyzes the health status of all POPs and routes in the cache network in real time based on the statistics provided by the route quality system. This increases the routing quality of CDN POPs and improves user experience.
    • Content-oriented routing: Content-oriented routing increases the cache hit ratio of Alibaba Cloud CDN. 302 redirection, one of the content-oriented routing schemes, is used in scenarios such as large file distribution and on-demand video streaming. The DNS server resolves a request which is then passed to the routing system. After the routing system parses the request, it identifies the POPs where the requested content resides. Then, a 302 redirect is performed to redirect the request to an optimal POP that is selected by the routing system.
  • Benefits: The routing system can route requests based on data transfer trends, or route requests in real time to handle traffic spikes.
  • Expected results: Alibaba Cloud CDN can monitor the health status of each POP in real time and select an optimal POP for each request based on the self-developed routing system.

Intelligent caching system

  • Accurate caching: Alibaba Cloud CDN uses intelligent object algorithms to cache content based on popularity in a multi-level cache. This mechanism allows Alibaba Cloud CDN to prioritize caching popular objects over less requested content.
  • High-speed caching: Alibaba Cloud CDN is designed for performance. It makes full use of the underlying technologies by balancing workloads to take advantage of its multi-core processing capabilities, implementing cutting-edge memory management mechanisms, and maximizing the IOPS and throughput of SSDs.
  • High read and write speeds: All POPs are equipped with SSDs to take advantage of their inherent high read/write speeds and reliability. These advantages allow Alibaba Cloud CDN to help you improve website availability and deliver content faster.
  • Efficient back-to-origin routing: Alibaba Cloud CDN provides failover and retransmission mechanisms to ensure efficient back-to-origin routing and information synchronization.

Efficient transport layer protocol

  • QUIC: QUIC is a new transport layer network protocol that combines the best qualities of TCP, TLS, and HTTP/2. QUIC supports encrypted, low-latency, and multiplexed connections to meet the requirements of the transport and application layers.
  • Independently developed algorithms for the TCP protocol suite: Alibaba Cloud utilizes algorithms such as congestion detection and packet loss probing algorithms to improve the performance of TCP. The transmission performance is significantly improved.

Reliable protection capabilities

Alibaba Cloud CDN is integrated with various security features and services to provide safe and secure content delivery.

  • Hotlink protection: Alibaba Cloud CDN provides a variety of methods to protect your origin server. Whitelists and blacklists can filter packets based on the referer header, user-agent header, URLs, and IP addresses. You can also use ES to implement access authorization. Alibaba Cloud CDN also supports remote authentication, which is a two-factor authentication method used to reinforce the security of your origin servers.
  • DNS hijacking protection: HTTPDNS allows clients to directly access the DNS maintained by Alibaba Cloud instead of the local DNS maintained by ISPs.
  • HTTPS-based transmission: The security of data may be compromised if it is transmitted as plaintext over the Internet. Alibaba Cloud CDN uses TLS to encrypt HTTP messages. You can also configure advanced settings such as TLS1.3, HSTS, and keyless to better protect your data.
  • Protection for origin servers: Alibaba Cloud CDN provides basic security features. If your origin servers require reinforced protection, you can use DCDN.
  • High availability of origin servers: Alibaba Cloud CDN supports primary and secondary origin servers, and monitors the health status of the origin servers. If the primary origin server fails, requests are redirected to a secondary origin server.

Competitive pricing strategies

Alibaba Cloud CDN provides competitive pricing strategies:

Tailored to fit

Alibaba Cloud CDN supports multiple metering methods and resource plans that you can mix and match to meet the requirements of your business scenarios. Select a metering method based on your business requirements.
Scenario Recommended combination
Low back-to-origin traffic with occasional traffic spikes. Pay-by-data-transfer.
Note We recommend that you purchase resource plans to reduce costs. Alibaba Cloud CDN provides multiple types of resource plans for different accelerated regions. The capacities of these resource plans range from 100 GB to 50 PB. You can select resource plans based on your business requirements.

For more information about the metering methods of Alibaba Cloud CDN, see CDN pricing.

Expansive ecosystem services

Alibaba Cloud provides diversified services and products. The following tables describe the services and products that you can use together with Alibaba Cloud CDN in different scenarios.
  • You can use Alibaba Cloud CDN together with other Alibaba Cloud services to fine-tune service performance and improve management efficiency.
    Existing service Recommended service Reason
    Elastic Compute Service (ECS) Alibaba Cloud CDN Alibaba Cloud CDN accelerates content stored on your ECS origin to customers all over the world.
    Object Storage Service (OSS) Alibaba Cloud CDN accelerates content stored on your OSS origin to customers all over the world. The caching capability of Alibaba Cloud CDN helps reduce the outbound traffic costs of OSS.
    Function Compute Function Compute is a fully managed, event-driven computing service. Function Compute allows you to focus on coding without the need to procure and manage infrastructure resources such as servers. You need to only upload your code. Function Compute allocates computing resources, runs tasks in an elastic and reliable manner, and provides features such as log query, performance monitoring, and alerting.
  • Building upon the powerful static content acceleration capabilities, Alibaba Cloud CDN also provides solutions for scenarios where you may also want to accelerate dynamic content or want to harden website security.
    Scenario Recommended service Description
    Ensure security and accelerate the delivery of both dynamic and static content DCDN DCDN is a branch of Alibaba Cloud CDN that can protect and accelerate the delivery of both dynamic and static content. DCDN automatically separates dynamic content from static content and accelerates the delivery of both types of content at the same time. DCDN also protects resources against Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks and HTTP flood attacks.
  • If you have already activated Alibaba Cloud CDN, you can use Alibaba Cloud CDN together with other services to fine-tune it to meet your unique business requirements. The following table describes the services that can be used together with Alibaba Cloud CDN.
    Scenario Recommended service Description
    Accelerate on-demand audio and video streaming ApsaraVideo VOD (VOD) VOD is an all-in-one solution for on-demand audio and video streaming. VOD supports audio and video upload, automatic transcoding, media resource management, and content delivery.
    Accelerate live streaming ApsaraVideo Live ApsaraVideo Live is an audio and video streaming platform that is based on the next-generation content access and distribution network and supports large-scale and distributed real-time transcoding. ApsaraVideo Live is a low-latency, highly concurrent live streaming service that delivers smooth, high-quality video content.
    Register a domain name that you want to accelerate by using Alibaba Cloud CDN Domains Domains is a domain name management platform that provides domain name registration, transaction, monitoring, and protection services. This platform is integrated with the Alibaba Cloud ICP Filing and Alibaba Cloud DNS services.
    Apply for an Internet Content Provider (ICP) number for the domain name that you want to accelerate by using Alibaba Cloud CDN Alibaba Cloud ICP Filing China mandates an ICP filing system for non-commercial Internet information services and an ICP licensing system for commercial Internet information services. You must apply for an ICP number for your domain name to comply with Measures for the Administration of Internet Information Services and Registration Administration Measures for Non-Commercial Internet Information Services. Websites that do not have an ICP number or license are prohibited from providing Internet information services. Therefore, all websites must obtain an ICP number before the websites are permitted to operate in the Chinese mainland. You can use the Alibaba Cloud ICP Filing system to apply for ICP numbers, modify ICP filing information, cancel ICP filing applications, and claim ICP numbers.
    Enable and configure HTTPS for a website SSL Certificates Service SSL Certificates Service is a digital server certificate service provided by Alibaba Cloud. This service provides digital server certificates issued by certification authorities (CAs). You can obtain free digital certificates or purchase other types of certificates from Alibaba Cloud. Then, you can deploy these certificates in Alibaba Cloud services to enable HTTPS for HTTP-based services at minimum costs. This way, your websites can perform identity verification and encryption for data in transit.
    Improve the O&M efficiency, and process large volumes of log data Log Service Log Service is an all-in-one logging service developed in-house by Alibaba Cloud. As a powerful logging solution, Log Service has been honed to perfection through years of implementation within Alibaba Group. You can use Log Service out-of-the-box to collect, consume, ship, query, and analyze log data. Log Service is capable of processing large amounts of log data and is an indispensable tool in improving operational efficiency.
    Monitor Alibaba Cloud resources and Internet applications CloudMonitor CloudMonitor is a service that monitors Alibaba Cloud resources and Internet applications. CloudMonitor collects metrics of Alibaba Cloud resources. You can use CloudMonitor to monitor the availability of your network and configure alerts for specific metrics.

Service support

Alibaba Cloud CDN provides comprehensive service support, including:
  • End-to-end and 24/7 monitoring and support systems.
  • Well-maintained documentation. For more information, see What is Alibaba Cloud CDN?
  • Quick-response troubleshooting systems:
    • Online support: If you want to obtain pre-sales consultation or after-sales support, or you want to provide feedback on Alibaba Cloud CDN, click the Phone icon on the lower right side of the screen.
    • Ticketing system: If you require technical support, you can Submit a ticket.