A content distribution network—also known as a content delivery network—is a large, geographically distributed network of specialized servers that accelerate the delivery of web content and rich media to internet-connected devices. The world's largest content distribution network, owned and operated by Akamai, spans more than 216,000 servers in over 120 countries and within more than 1,500 networks around the world.
The primary technique that a content distribution network (CDN) uses to speed the delivery of web content to end users is edge caching, which entails storing replicas of static text, image, audio, and video content in multiple servers around the "edges" of the internet, so that user requests can be served by a nearby edge server rather than by a far-off origin server. To also accelerate the delivery of dynamically generated web content that's difficult or impossible to cache, an advanced content distribution network such as Akamai's uses a range of techniques such as: route optimization, TCP connection optimization, and pre-fetching.
A content distribution network provides substantial benefits to web users, content and application owners, and network service providers:
As the creator of the world's premier content distribution network—which today delivers up to 30% of global internet traffic—Akamai has been the leader in bringing CDN benefits to web property owners and web users. With Network Operator Solutions, we're also enabling network service providers to benefit by deploying their own CDNs. For example: