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There is nothing end users hate more than a slow-loading app or website. Any business, large or small, needs to deliver their online products and services as quickly and reliably as possible to stay competitive in today’s demanding digital marketplace.

CDNs (or content delivery networks) were created as one way to speed up load times for web browsing, streaming media, and apps. They work by storing or “cacheing” a website or application’s content (often javascript, images, and videos) to a distributed, replicated network of servers. When user makes a request to access this content, they are sent to the server closest to the them, improving the load time dramatically.

To accomplish this, most CDNs, including Cloudflare, Akamai, and Edgecast, utilize a routing technology called BGP anycast. With BGP anycast, CDNs can replicate cached content on as many servers as they’d like, all around the world, and make them accessible via a single IP address. Additionally, anycast provides CDNs with a built-in failover to make their services more robust. If one of a CDN’s servers goes down for any reason, the user is seamless rerouted to the next, closest available location.

However, some legacy CDN providers instead utilize a combination of DNS and unicast. With unicast, each replicated, distributed server is assigned its own unique IP address. In this setup, when a user makes a request, a GeoIP lookup is performed in order to find first the location of the user, and then IP address of the closest server. Finally, after the GeoIP lookup is complete, the user’s request is sent along. Given the number of steps in the process, and the greater possibilities for outdated or misrouted requests, you can see why newer, more successful CDNs have moved to anycast.

Most of today’s biggest CDNs are an excellent, affordable solution for websites, streaming services, and other businesses with large amounts of static content and front-end applications that need to be delivered fast.

However, there are some cases where a CDN solution might fall short. If your business has a large number of geographically distributed end users, and need to deliver more than static content with the lowest possible latency and 100% uptime, then a global anycast cloud platform could serve your needs much better.

With the right global anycast partner, you can deploy your entire application stack to a set of geographically distributed servers, and route users at the network level to the closest location for the best possible performance.

BGP anycast bring additional benefits to your business, including faster and easier testing and delivery of server changes to large infrastructures. With the right anycast platform, your entire stack will be delivered via purpose-built infrastructure that includes Tier 1 connectivity, enterprise-class datacenters, and network redundancy. If one of your locations needs to be taken offline, or experiences an issue, traffic will be automatically rerouted to the next closest location – ensuring your end users will never experience the frustration of outages or performance slowdowns.

At NetActuate, we partner with some of the most demanding businesses to provide a robust, reliable, custom global anycast platform. Our anycast platform hosts a number of CDN providers, delivering content fast to keep their customers happy.

If you have one website, a small business, or fairly straightforward reverse proxy needs, there are plenty of great CDNs to choose from to fulfill your needs. However, if you need make your entire stack available on a virtual global platform, and have a critical need for uptime and low latency, a global anycast partner can help you meet, and exceed, your business goals.

If you think NetActuate’s anycast platform could be good fit for your business, we’d love to chat. Visit netactuate.com to schedule a call with a Solution Specialist today, or give us a call a 1.800.419.2656.