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Yesterday, I needed to check a list of POP servers in order to measure the proximity, for a personal project I’m working on.

What is a CDN?

content delivery network or content distribution network (CDN) is a geographically distributed network of proxy servers and their data centers. The goal is to provide high availability and performance by distributing the service spatially relative to end users.

Image result for azure cdn pops
Alice requests a file that is not in the POP or has expired. The file is read from the origin server and then cached to the POP from where Alice gets it. Subsequent calls from other users for the same file are served from the POP directly, provided it has not expired.

By utilizing a CDN architecture we, primarily, bring the content we want to deliver closer to the user in order to minimize network latency so as to provide a better user experience for our services. Other benefits, depending on the CDN offering, i.e. scaling on user demand is also feasible through a CDN implementation.

There are some considerations as always on what kind of content you can best deliver over a CDN infrastructure and most of the time is about static content i.e. images, files, videos, etc. Azure Media Services support CDN for live streaming, also. You can learn more here.

For a list of the CDN POPs by region here.