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CDN List - Affordable and Effective CDN Websites
03-06-2012, 10:29 AM (This post was last modified: 03-06-2012 10:45 AM by SWortham.)
Post: #47
RE: CDN List - Affordable and Effective CDN Websites
So far I've just used two CDN's. Neither are perfect but I figured I'd post my experience with them.

Amazon Cloudfront. Amazon has gotten better the past couple years as their network has grown. They have a very consistently fast CDN with no monthly fee. You simply pay for usage. This ends up being insanely cheap for the little guy. My sites collectively receive about 500 visits a day and Amazon was only costing me about 10 cents a month.

The main limitations are:
1. They don't have native support for gzip when using an Amazon S3 origin. If you want gzip you have to set up a custom origin. Not necessarily a deal breaker, but certainly not as user friendly as some of the alternatives.
2. They don't support SSL for custom domains. You can only use HTTPS if you use their long unfriendly URLs.

RackSpace Cloud Files. After RackSpace switched to Akamai they became a very attractive option. Akamai has edge locations deployed in 72 countries and they have an obvious advantage in certain countries. Australia was the one where Akamai really stands out vs Amazon, for example. Once again, RackSpace has no monthly fee and charges purely on usage (their pricing is similar to Amazon). But unlike Amazon, they actually have native support for gzip. In fact, no configuration is necessary to enable gzip. They automatically deliver any text files with gzip.

1. They don't support far-future expiration dates. The limit is 72 hours.
2. They don't support folders.
3. Usually performance is great, but I've also found it to be extremely slow on occasion during the past couple months (like 5 seconds to load a 40KB image). It could be slow DNS resolution, or maybe an extremely slow cache miss. I haven't yet identified the problem in a test because like I said... it's usually fast.

Of course any of the above details could change at any moment as these guys are constantly trying to improve. So I'll be keeping an eye on both of them. I also wrote an article with some speed tests about these two:

Oh, I also recently started using Azure CDN for a new site I'm working on but it's too soon to post a review about it.
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RE: CDN List - Affordable and Effective CDN Websites - SWortham - 03-06-2012 10:29 AM

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