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Alibaba Cloud CDN

A scalable and high-performance content delivery service for accelerated distribution of content to users across the globe

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Overview

Deliver online content to end-users anywhere in the world on Alibaba Cloud CDN (Content Delivery Network). With 1,200+ nodes distributed across the globe, Alibaba Cloud CDN enables users to effectively reduce website response time to milliseconds, ensure smooth video streaming and handle large volumes of traffic.

As a low-cost and scalable service, Alibaba Cloud CDN comes without any long-term contracts or minimum usage commitments.

China CDN

Expand your online presence with Alibaba Cloud CDN in the China region. Alibaba Cloud's 1,000+ CDN nodes in China provide unsurpassed coverage for servicing the vast China market. In order to deploy a website on a CDN in Mainland China you will need to first apply ICP registration. Alibaba Cloud has a dedicated team of bilingual experts to help guide you through the ICP registration application process.

Learn more about an ICP License for China

Customer Testimonials

"We needed a local CDN service to speed up our assets and user sites, and we tried all major CDN providers in China. According to my benchmark results, Alibaba Cloud wins on the number of edge servers, average response time, average download speed in all major ISPs and provinces. It also has developer-friendly API for us to automate our solution."

"The Alibaba Cloud CDN service provides comprehensive support for Alipay financial services. The encrypted HTTPS access improves the Alipay user experience and effectively ensures the security of users' personal and sensitive banking information."


Benefits

Easy-to-Use

  • Using simple custom configuration options, Alibaba Cloud CDN allows you to add, delete, modify and search query domain names on your own.

  • Supports customizing anti-leech measures, cache policies, HTTP request headers, and other functions.

Scalable

  • Provides flexible features like auto scaling.

  • Website traffic spikes are handled automatically.

  • Reduces load on origin site.

Global

  • Alibaba Cloud CDN has 1,000+ CDN nodes located in China and more than 200+ CDN nodes around the globe.

Cost-effective

  • Pay only for what resources you use.

  • No long-term contract or minimum usage commitment.

Easy Payment Methods

  • Follows a “use-first, pay-later” model.

  • Provides different billing options such as “Pay-By-Traffic" or "Pay-By-Bandwidth" to suit different business requirements.

Storage

  • Supports a massive storage capacity of up to 1.5PB.

Fast Content Delivery

  • Enables website response time in milliseconds.

  • Ensures smooth video streaming.

Product Details

The Alibaba Cloud CDN is built to automatically handle spikes in traffic, reduce load speed on your origin site and support storage capacity of up to 1.5 petabytes.

With its low latency and high data transfer rate, the Alibaba Cloud CDN directs user requests to the most suitable node based on network congestion to retrieve content in the most efficient manner. The CDN has a high performance cache system built with powerful clusters of servers to maximize throughput. The CDN relies on an intelligent object heat algorithm and hierarchical ‘hot’ cache resources for precise resource acceleration.


Features

Fast Content Delivery

Improves availability of CDN servers or nodes with high-speed read/write storage using SSDs. Accelerates content distribution with page optimization and smart compression technologies.

  • Page optimization removes spaces, line breaks, TABs, annotations, and other redundant page content to reduce page size.

  • Smart compression reduces size of the content and accelerates content distribution.

Reduces response time by collapsing multiple JavaScript/CSS files into a single request.

Advanced Scheduling

  • Reduces complexity by supporting millions of domain names with a single machine.

  • Ensures high availability with multi-level scheduling policies.

  • Simple and easy to use. Coordinates security systems, refresh systems and content management systems using multi-system interaction techniques.

  • Enhances user experience with real-time data scheduling option and advanced traffic predictions.

High-performance

  • High-speed audio and video downloads using acceleration feature for on-demand and live streaming media.

  • Quick and easy integrated solution which includes media storage, slicing and transcoding and access authentication.

  • Smooth playback experience delivered through on-demand audio and video incremental service.

  • Easy deployment with support for MP4 and FLV video formats.

  • Enhanced security of media resources with resource link authentication and custom authentication keys.

Integration with Other Alibaba Cloud Services

You can seamlessly integrate Alibaba Cloud CDN service with other services to improve data transfer speed and easy content distribution. Below are the benefits of using CDN service with other Alibaba Cloud services:

  • Works seamlessly with Object Storage Services (OSS) to accelerate speed and reduce cost for content distribution.

  • Effectively works with Elastic Compute Service (ECS) to increase content availability, protect original content and reduce bandwidth consumption.

  • Works efficiently with Server Load Balancer (SLB) to distribute load when origin site goes to source address to access data.

Easy-to-use Console

The console is user friendly and allows smart deployment of CDN servers or nodes with custom configurations. You can use the console to achieve the following:

  • Add, delete, modify or send query for domain names.

  • Set policies for acceleration of cache nodes.

  • Deploy anti-leeching features.

  • Update “http” header information according to your business requirements.

  • Deploy acceleration and optimization functions.

Simple and Easy to Use APIs

  • CDN API works well with the Management Console to provide flexible and convenient CDN services to users.

  • CDN API enables precise deployment and accurate monitoring of CDN domains and distribution of resources.

  • CDN API can be programmatically used with other Alibaba Cloud products to build customized portals.

Monitoring

  • CDN service provides full network monitoring with rich data analysis and resource report.

  • CDN service provides in-depth monitoring information including data on bandwidth usage, traffic patterns, popularity analysis, and security reports.

Pricing

CDN Pricing Methods

The price structure for Alibaba Cloud CDN consists of basic services and value-added services.

Basic services consists of Pay-By-Traffic and Pay-By-Bandwidth. Value-added services consist of HTTPS Secure Acceleration and Pre-paid Traffic Package.

Users may flexibly switch between the Pay-By-Bandwidth and Pay-By-Traffic billing methods. The new billing method will take effect from the subsequent billing cycle.

Billing MethodDescriptionApplicable Scenarios
Pay-By-BandwidthUsers are billed by daily peak bandwidth. A peak bandwidth value is recorded at intervals of 5 minutes for a total of 288 values a day. The highest value is used for billing purposes.This billing method is applicable to scenarios where the domain name traffic curve is relatively flat or where bandwidth utilization exceeds a daily rate of 30%.
Pay-By-TrafficUsers are billed according to the actual traffic used and calculated on an hourly basis.This billing method is applicable to scenarios where the domain name traffic curve has substantial fluctuations and bandwidth spikes or where the bandwidth utilization is less than 30% for the day
Note: Bandwidth utilization equals actually used traffic (Gbps)/(peak bandwidth (Mbps) x 10.54). For example, 1 Mbps bandwidth and 100% utilization for an entire day would generate 10.54 Gbps of traffic.

1. Pay-By-Traffic

Billing item: Downstream traffic

Traffic tierMainland China price (USD/GB)Overseas price (USD/GB)
0GB - 10TB (inclusive)0.040.07
10TB - 50TB (inclusive)0.040.07
50TB - 100TB (inclusive)0.030.06
100TB-1PB(inclusive)0.030.05
>1PB0.020.05
Note: To avoid causing a loss to users due to abnormal and malicious traffic, the upper bandwidth limit for Pay-By-Traffic is set to 10 Gbps by default.

2. Pay-By-Bandwidth

Billing item: Peak bandwidth

Peak bandwidth tierMainland China Price (USD/Mbps/day)Overseas Price (USD/Mbps/day)
0-500 Mbps(inclusive)0.090.20
500 Mbps - 5 Gbps(inclusive)0.090.19
5Gbps-20Gbps(inclusive)0.090.17
>20Gbps0.080.17
Note: In the case of Pay-By-Bandwidth, the default upper limit bandwidth is 100 Gbps. Please contact us if you require a higher limit.

3. HTTPS Secure Acceleration

Price of HTTPS secure acceleration refers to Basic fee (charged for downstream traffic OR peak bandwidth per day) + Fee charged for HTTPS requests

1.Value-added service price

Billing itemPrice (USD/10 thousand times)
HTTPS requests0.03

2.Billing rules

  • Billing item: HTTPS requests

  • Method of payment: Post payment

  • Billing rule: Billing is based on the HTTPS request price for value-added services. HTTPS requests are accumulated on a calendar day basis.

  • Billing cycle: Billed by the day; fee deducted in real time (The bill for the previous day is issued and the fee deducted after 00:00 each day.)

Note:

  • A bill is typically issued within one hour of the end of the current billing cycle. For example, the bill for June 17 will be generated after 0:00 June 18. The amount due is then automatically deducted from your account balance.

  • Billing of HTTPS requests: Settlement is based on the cumulative HTTPS requests generated by all domains for which secure acceleration is activated on the current day.

4. Pre-paid Traffic Package

Traffic package sizes from 500G - 50TB are available for 1 year.

The packages are pre-paid in Subscription mode (paid in one total sum and activated immediately). The traffic beyond the package quota is billed in Pay-As-You-Go mode.

For the duration of the resource package, fees are deducted for your use of the traffic quota. For traffic outside the quota, fees are billed based on the existing billing rules.

Billing rules

  • Billing items: domestic traffic+international traffic

  • Method of payment: Prepayment

  • Billing cycle: Billed by the hour and charged in real time (a bill is generated every hour and the used traffic is deducted from the traffic package).

Notice for use:

  • You can buy a pre-paid traffic package with a credit card.

  • Traffic packages only support the Pay-As-You-Go billing mode. If the billing mode of your traffic package is PayByBandwidth, the balance of your traffic package will be frozen until you switch to Pay-As-You-Go.

  • CDN traffic packages (global) allow you to deduct the traffic generated by domestic and international nodes.

  • Traffic packages are limited to your own account only.

  • Traffic packages are prioritized and used based on expiration time. Traffic is deducted first from the traffic package that will expire soonest.

  • To view the balance of your traffic package, go to Resource Package Management.

  • Your traffic package is only valid during the specified validity period. Any unused traffic will expire when the traffic package expires, and Alibaba Cloud will not provide replacements or complements.

Scenarios

Accelerated Distribution of Static Resources for Websites/Applications

  • Accelerate the distribution of resources for websites or applications that have a large volume of static resources with a Content Delivery Network. We recommend you separate the dynamic and static content as below:

  • Store large volume of static resources such as images, HTML, CSS, and JS files using Object Storage Service (OSS). OSS accelerates the delivery of images, short videos and other content.

  • Store dynamic files on Elastic Compute Service (ECS).

Suggested Configuration:

Alibaba Cloud CDN + ECS + OSS

You can accelerate the distribution of content on your website or application by taking advantage of the following features:

  • Select the CDN service type and choose the "Streaming Media Acceleration" option for videos, images and other files stored on OSS.

  • Use CDN page optimization and smart compression options to manage the cache configuration, anti-leeching measures and other related features according to application requirements.

  • You can store origin site dynamic content on Elastic Compute Service (ECS) and store the origin site static content on Object Storage Services (OSS).

Accelerated Distribution of Large On-Demand Audios and Videos

  • CDN supports fast download and distribution of various media files such as mp4, flv, mpeg.

  • CDN supports acceleration of on-demand streaming services for large file sizes, greater than 20MB such as mp4 and flv videos.

Note: We recommend using CDN service with OSS for high-speed data transfer and to reduce bandwidth costs.

Suggested Configuration:

CDN + OSS

You can accelerate the distribution of large on-demand videos and audios by taking advantage of the following features:

  • Select the CDN service type and choose "Download Acceleration” option.

  • Enable "range back-to-source" (the origin site must support multipart back-to-source data fetching) to accelerate delivery of large files.

  • Enable "access authentication" to secure access to video and audio resources.

Acceleration of Media Services (in beta testing)

Live Media Streaming Services

  • Provides an integrated solution including storage, slicing and transcoding, access authentication and acceleration of content distribution.

  • Scales capacity programmatically to cater to sudden spikes in traffic using Elastic Scaling Services (ESS).

Media Transcoding Services

  • Provides high speed and stable transcoding services.

  • Scales seamlessly to ensure smooth completion of media transcoding tasks.

Live Broadcast Acceleration Services

  • Provides internal user testing and optimization (in testing stage at present).

Suggested Configuration:

CDN + Auto scaling + Media transcoding (the live streaming media service is in beta testing)

You can accelerate media services by doing the following:

  • Push streams to servers of CDN live broadcast center.

  • Receive output video in desired formats such as FLV, HLS, or RTMP using real-time transcoding and video processing options.

  • Programmatically scale capacity to handle traffic spikes and to execute high-performance transcoding services using auto-scaling service, ESS.

Accelerated Distribution of Mobile Applications

You can use Alibaba Cloud CDN for efficient and secure distribution of mobile applications (APK files). You can take advantage of CDN to achieve the following:

  • Accelerate and optimize distribution of in-app images, pages, short videos, UGC and other content.

  • Prevent DNS attacks using the http DNS service.

  • Retrieve DNS resolution in real time.

  • Enhance user experience with quick access to resources.

Suggested Configuration:

CDN + OSS

You can use Alibaba Cloud CDN with OSS for high-speed content delivery and reduce overall cost.

Getting Started

You can improve the performance of your website, media or mobile applications and deliver high-speed content to end users by using the following developer resources for Alibaba Cloud CDN.

Using Alibaba Cloud CDN service through Management Console

The Alibaba Cloud Management Console provides a simple web-based user interface which allows you to access and configure CDN. Through this console you can create, modify and monitor CDN distributions.

Read the Quick Start Guide for a step-by-step direction to deploy a CDN through the Management Console.

Accessing Alibaba Cloud Documentation

To accelerate content distribution through the Alibaba Cloud CDN, read the CDN Documentation to get a detailed understanding about the underlying architectures, how Alibaba Cloud CDN works and how to monitor distributions.

Resources

Alibaba Cloud CDN resources will help you understand and use the CDN service to deliver accelerated distribution of files and media content by caching blobs and other static content. These resources will help you understand how CDN works.

Below are the links to the documentation, SDKs and other resources.

Developer Resources

Alibaba Cloud CDN developer resources are a collection of documents which contain all the information you need to set up a CDN for your website. Links here would help you to integrate CDN with ECS and OSS for better content delivery.

Documentation

Developer Tools

FAQs

1. What is the difference between CDN and a mirror site?

CDN is used to speed up files or content delivery on the cloud. When an access request is received, a CDN node passively retrieves the requested content from the origin site, caches a copy of the retrieved content and returns it to the user instantly. Depending on the location of the access request, the CDN node returns the cached content during subsequent requests instead of fetching it from the origin server to accelerate delivery.

A mirror site stores all data locally. So when an access request is made again, the mirror site directly pushes the requested content without going back to the origin server.

2. Are all CDN nodes located on the BGP networks?

The edge nodes of CDN are distributed in multiple areas and maintained by different carriers, and not deployed only on BGP networks. The cache layer is located on the BGP network in Hangzhou. It retrieves resources from the origin site server.

3. Does CDN update and synchronize data nodes in real time?

No, Content Delivery Network is not updated in real time.

4. Is the process of retrieving data through CDN from the origin site slow when done for the first time?

When a request is made for the first time, it may take longer than subsequent requests. This is because the request travels through two network layers, the CDN edge layer and intermediate layer, to retrieve data from the origin site.

5. Do I need to modify the origin site in order to use CDN?

You do not have to modify the origin site to use CDN. However, it is recommended to store static and dynamic resources separately to accelerate content distribution. This can be achieved by putting files in different domains.

6. Can I get detailed view of user activity on my web pages?

Content Delivery Network statistics are comprehensive as data is collected based on every logged access request. If a page contains multiple iframe tags, CDN counts those as multiple page views.

You can get deeper insights into the data by using third party tools compatible with Alibaba Cloud CDN service such as CNZZ and Google Analytics.

7. What are the distinctive features of Alibaba Cloud CDN?

Alibaba Cloud CDN has an intelligent scheduling system and cache software—both of which work in tandem to accelerate content distribution.

8. Does Alibaba Cloud CDN accelerate the website's server or the domain name?

Alibaba Cloud CDN accelerates the resources under a domain name. For example, if you have the domain xyz.com which maps to a web application containing media content, CDN would cache these files. Next time a request is made for the same file, CDN would retrieve it quickly as it is saved locally. You can set caching parameters for different files as per the requirement through the Management Console.

9. What is TTL value?

TTL in Alibaba Cloud CDN is the duration of the cached objects/files. You can customize the TTLs for various objects like JavaScript, Images, and CSS according to your needs. For example, you can set a TTL of 60 seconds for a JavaScript file.

10. What is the maximum bandwidth of the Alibaba Cloud Content Delivery Network node?

There is no limit on the bandwidth of nodes and the minimum service capacity of a single node is 20Gbps.

11. How long does it take for Alibaba Cloud CDN domain acceleration to come into effect?

The Alibaba Cloud Content Delivery Network domain acceleration becomes effective within 30 minutes after the domain name is verified.

12. How can I track which CDN node a user accesses?

If the file loading rate is low or access error occurs after CDN acceleration, use the nslookup command and ping the CDN domain to obtain the IP address of the CDN node accessed by the user. You can then do basic troubleshooting and seek information to know the rate of delay and packet loss.

13. What are “A record” and “CNAME records” on DNS?

“A record” stands for address and is used to specify an IP address corresponding to a host name (or a domain name).

A CNAME record—a canonical name record—is used to map multiple names to the same CDN server. Generally, it is used on computers that provide both www and mail services.

14. Can gaming apps be accelerated by using the Alibaba Cloud CDN?

Yes the Alibaba Cloud accelerates gaming apps. Companies dealing with development of online Android, PC or IOS games can use this for accelerated delivery of content and files.

15. Does Alibaba Cloud CDN check the health status of cache nodes?

Yes, Alibaba Cloud CDN’s intelligent scheduling system checks all the ports mapped to the virtual IP address of each node to determine the health status. In case the health check fails, access requests will be diverted to a nearby node.

16. How can I stop using Alibaba CDN?

  • Change the CNAME of your domain to the address of your A record

  • Direct the CNAME to your origin site

  • Stop the CDN service through the CDN console.

17. Can I get a CDN performance report?

You can test CDN performance at www.alibench.com

18. What kind of files can be compressed by Alibaba Cloud CDN?

Alibaba Cloud CDN can compress files stored on CDN nodes.

For file compression, content must meet the following requirements:

  • The content retrieved from the origin site should be greater than 1,024 bytes.

  • The files to be compressed must be in the following formats: content-type: text/xml, text/plain, text/css, application/javascript, application/x-javascript, application/rss+xml, text/javascript, image/tiff, and image/svg+xml.

You should execute page compression using the CDN console. All browsers are compatible except Internet Explorer 6.

19. How can I update an already cached file?

To update a cached file, you should synchronize the content at origin site by version number. However same name updates are not recommended.

If you need to update files with the same name, submit refresh requests through the CDN console or APIs. You can submit up to 1,000 refresh requests for the same domain every day. Directory level refresh is also supported.

20. Why does Alibaba Cloud charge a traffic fee after the CDN service is suspended?

A small traffic fee is charged even after the CDN service is discontinued for the following reasons:

  • The local DNS server has a cache and if the cache has not expired, the DNS will continue to direct requests to the CDN node. This will produce a small CDN traffic fee.

  • Some software that can be downloaded also has local DNS caches. A suspended CDN domain may produce a small CDN traffic fee until the cache expires.

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