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The First Mile Impact on Dynamic CDN Delivery Performance

When it comes to delivering content from the origin to edge servers, it’s common practice to focus on middle and last mile performance for optimizing CDN performance.  Truth be told— the first mile is just as important and often overlooked.

Here’s why.

The reason CDN’s are required for maximum performance is because TCP fails to effectively deliver maximum performance in non-LAN environments.  When delivering static objects, objects are cached as close to the last mile as possible at each edge location. It’s critical for CDNs to get your content as close enough to your end-user—reducing latency and allowing TCP to operate efficiently.

However, dynamic delivery is very different from static delivery. If your pages are dynamic, content can’t just be cached at the edge; it needs to be served from the origin.  Positioning the last-mile as close as possible to end-users is only *half* of the equation—the exact same TCP issues occur if there is latency between the origin server and the first mile, or ingress point into the CDN.

Although the proximity of a CDN to a customer’s origin is a critical component, the current market lacks emphasis on first mile performance. Other CDNs overlook the total response time from origin to end-user, and are not focused on topology from the origin to the ingest point. No other CDN focuses on the first mile or has truly set a first mile goal.  In fact, many CDNs that offer dynamic acceleration aren’t even concerned to have their customers origin servers more than 40ms away from the CDN, while targeting that same latency goal globally for last mile latency!  This approach totally fails to look at performance end-to-end, and leaves customers struggling to optimize their experience.


What’s different about CacheFly’s SaaS Acceleration?

Our goal is to be 2ms away from your origin—or closer.  We do this by offering cross-connect access with our colocation partners, having on-net ingest servers in cloud providers such as Amazon, Rackspace and Digital Ocean, and by evaluating connectivity for new customers and deploying additional hardware as needed.  Our reputation as the highest performing CDN for static content is something we take seriously, and informs our engineering decisions on a daily basis.  We’ve taken the same approach in designing or end-to-end philosophy for SaaS Acceleration, ensuring you are not leaving performance on the table in either the first, middle or last mile.

It’s not easy to do this and there is a bit of cost complexity, but the performance result is worthwhile. We work with you to understand where your origin is. Even if we’re not located in a peering partner location close enough to your origin, we’ll work with you to offer a cross-connect in another facility. We care enough to provide you with the utmost fastest performance.

Be the FASTEST.  Now.

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Application Downtime: A Critical Concern for SaaS & Web App Providers

“There are a few things worse than working your a** off for years to build a business, hustling every chance that you get, and running head on into a disaster that’s out of your control and threatens to undo your dreams.”   
–Groove CEO and Founder, Alex Turnbull, on The Meltdown that Brought our Startup to Its Knees for 15 Hours.

SaaS and web app users expect continuous availability. But, what happens when downtime disrupts service? How are your users be impacted?

Their productivity declines.

Their data becomes lost or idle.

They lose trust in your business.

In mission-critical cases, they lose substantial revenue.

A recent study by IDC reveals that for Fortune 1000’s, the average cost of unplanned application downtime is $1.25 to $2.5 billion per year, with the average hourly cost of infrastructure failure being $100,000 per hour, and the average cost of critical application failure between $500,000 and $1 million per hour.

In 2013, Amazon Web Services experienced an outage that lasted 59 minutes and impacted AWS customers, including Instagram and Vine—and more considerably— Some reports say the outage resulted in a loss of $1,104 in net sales per second—nearly $4 million in missed revenue.

What are the costs of downtime to your business?

  • You could face severe SLA compliance penalties.
  • You’re left to do damage control, because negative publicity has tarnished your company’s reputation and customer relationships.

    According to Kissmetrics, 44% of online shoppers are likely to tell others about a bad online experience.

  • You lose the revenue you could have retained—had you provided the level of service you promised. Ponemon, an independent data protection and information security research organization, estimates that $239,000 (37% of their estimated $474,000/hr) in losses can be attributed to customer turnover and reputation damage.
  • You give away your business to competitors. Frustrated users are less likely to wait.

How can you recover and mitigate the risk of downtime?

Many turn to DevOps teams to lead the disaster recovery effort by upgrading server architecture and automating infrastructure.  However, businesses can optimize the costs of fully managing recovery efforts on their own by partnering with a CDN to ensure high availability and high performance. But, not just any CDN provider.

You need a resilient CDN that offers consistently high reliability and availability.

Since 2002, CacheFly has been delivering its global customers with the highest throughput performance and availability for a better end-user experience.  CacheFly’s new SaaS Acceleration improves customer experience and user productivity, saves costs, and speeds up your app delivery. This high availability, high performance dynamic delivery CDN—custom built for SaaS and web apps, features:

  • 100% Network Uptime Guarantee.
    SaaS Acceleration offers 100% network uptime to your end users—not 99%, 99.5%, 99.9%, 99.99%, or even 99.999%. There’s a difference between a network provider who offers 99.95% vs. 100% SLA—where 99.95% equates to 4.38 hours of ‘acceptable’ downtime per year.
  • Your App—served from the best high availability peering partners.
    SaaS Acceleration partners with only the best high availability data centers, including: Equinix, TelX, GTT, ServerCentral, Terremark, Level3, and Interxion, and more.
  • Immediate Active Failover Capabilities.
    Active failover dynamically routes around outages to find the best path and deliver 100% uptime.
  • High Throughout Performance.
    Delivers the fastest file performance—regardless of file size.
  • Performance Transparency.
    If there is ever a service disruption, CacheFly users are informed of it via the status page.

Partner with a CDN provider that delivers the level of service your users expect. Sign up for CacheFly’s SaaS Acceleration…coming soon.

Sign up now and get on the early access wait list!

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Tour CacheFly CDN Reporting and Analytics

Are you curious just how robust our real-time reporting platform is?

Our CDN’s real-time reporting and analytics gives you the power to forecast future behavior and make better informed decisions.

With CacheFly, you get instant aggregate and drill-down insights to real-time data for all your traffic. See where—and how fast your content is being delivered, and much more! In addition, our Raw Logs provides you with a real-time log of all the users who have requested your files — before their information is compiled into graphs and reports.

Watch this demo video to learn more:

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Need the Best CDN for Australia?

Good news for anyone with Aussie-based traffic: We’re now serving Melbourne.

Our new Melbourne POP is deployed in Equinix’s brand new $60M Melbourne data center, “ME1.”

equinix melbourne

Equinix Melbourne Data Center (Photo Credit: Equinix)

With edge caches now in three Australian locations—Melbourne (Equinix), Sydney (Equinix) and Perth (WAIX), we’re significantly improving our Australia CDN presence to ensure that your end users will receive incomparably faster delivery than with any other CDN.

equinix ME1

Equinix’s New $60M Data Center in Melbourne, “ME1.” (Photo Credit: Equinix)

Why Australia?
Our decision to deploy in Melbourne—Australia’s second largest market—follows in response to the high projected growth of Internet traffic in Australia. Analyst firms such as Frost & Sullivan predict the Australian IaaS market to grow at a CAGR of 14% between 2013 and 2020, reaching $1.36 billion by 2020.

Jeremy Deutsch, Managing Director, Equinix Australia, had this to say about our partnership: “CacheFly’s deployment in ME1 is further proof that Equinix’s interconnection solutions provide a competitive edge for business. CacheFly is a clear leader amongst Content Delivery Networks, whilst Equinix is dedicated to bringing global leaders the power of interconnection. With ME1, CacheFly now has the ability to connect in many ways to many customers, partners and geographies in order to accelerate its business performance and create new opportunities.”

Melbourne marks our 41st POP, globally, following our recent launch of POPs in Jakarta, Indonesia and La Paz, Bolivia.

If you’ve never tried CacheFly before, now is the perfect time. CacheFly is now offering Pay-As-You-Go—for life. Offer ends soon. Start today and get 2TB risk-free—no credit card required.

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7 Reasons To Choose CacheFly for Software Delivery

Delivering slow downloads are an easy way to discourage potential customers from purchasing your software. Whether you offer large file digital downloads, or load web apps to global customers, speeding up delivery should be on the top of your priority list.

Not just any CDN will do. If you’re a software provider, distributing large file downloads to global customers, you need CacheFly. Here are seven reasons why you should choose CacheFly to deliver your software.

1. Highest Throughput Delivery for Large Files.

How fast a user can download your software depends on a CDN’s throughput performance. Throughput, also known as, Time To Last Byte (TTLB), is the rate of successful delivery, from response time—to fully downloaded files. Network monitoring companies like New Relic, Cedexis and CloudHarmony, now provide Real User Monitoring (RUM) to measure CDN throughput. What do the results show? That CacheFly’s global throughput delivery performance is second-to-none.

CacheFly eclipses all major CDNs in overall throughput performance of a 100KB file in the U.S.

CacheFly eclipses all major CDNs in overall throughput performance of a 100KB file in the U.S.

2. Infinite Scalability for Large Software Releases and Updates.

Scalability ensures that as your customer base grows, your download performance won’t suffer—no matter the file size of your software. CacheFly is infinitely scalable to handle huge traffic surges, seamlessly.

3. Secure Delivery.

CacheFly provides a security platform that works to maintain secure control over your content. In addition to supporting SSL certificates for secure transmission of your files, CacheFly offers token-based authentication called ProtectServe, which ensures only authenticated users have access to your files.

4. Push Updates Faster.

Some CDNs will take up to 24 hours to replicate files to push your mission-critical updates. CacheFly offers super-fast replication of your content to deliver updates to your users within seconds.

5. Gzip Compression.

The larger your files, the longer it will take to deliver. CacheFly provides gzip compression to automatically compress files to further reduce transfer time. Gzip compression not only optimizes files for faster delivery, but also lowers your bandwidth costs by using less data to deliver your files to an end user.

6. 100% Availability SLA.

CacheFly ensures the highest availability and guarantees continuous network uptime 100%.  No scheduled maintenance, no emergency maintenance, no nonsense.

7. Flat-Rate Global Pricing.

CacheFly offers simple and affordable plans—with flat rate pricing for delivery to end users anywhere in the world.


Take it from our customers:

Dan Santoni

“I think software authors should all be using a CDN to distribute downloads. People want this stuff fast…By implementing a CDN, we get more successful trial downloads and more successful installs that subsequently lead to sales.”   -Dan Santoni, Inspyder Software

Gustavo Sanchez Kivuto Downloads Faster

“We chose CacheFly because of the large Content Delivery Network they offered, multiple server locations around the world that could offer high speed downloads to our clients globally, and the ability to protect download links.”   -Gustavo Sanchez, Kivuto


A software download that takes too long can mean the difference between gaining and losing a potential customer. Every second counts. Offload your overloaded servers and save bandwidth by delivering your software from CacheFly.

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