Does a CDN really need so many server locations?

Posted by: 
Dejan Grofelnik Pelzel
Dejan Grofelnik Pelzel
May 13th, 2015

When looking for a CDN, you will often see companies boasting with the sheer number of server locations that they offer, selling you their low latency around the world. These numbers do seem impressive on paper, especially from the management perspective. However, the companies always seem to forget to mention the sky-high cost that managing such a big network brings.

But what about the real world? We are now in 2015 and thanks to the wast efforts to bring a high speed internet connection to every home, each of the continents now contains an astonishing network grid. This means that the intercontinental connections are not only significantly faster than just a few years ago, but also operate with an ever decreasing latency.

An Example

A ping request from Slovenia to the UK takes around 36ms, to our neighbour Austria takes around 26ms and a whopping 200ms for a ping request to a server in California. We get a mere 10ms difference between the servers in Europe, which does mean a decrease in speed of around 38% on paper. But what does the 10ms mean to our user? Practically speaking, nothing. On the other hand. both of the results from inside Europe provide drastically better latency than a server over in the US. Additionally, once the connection is already established, these differences get even lower when transferring the actual data.

The Cost

From a price perspective, even a single or a couple well-positioned servers in Europe could replace multiple CDN nodes with an almost negligible impact on the end user. While still providing a major advantage to the users around the world, reducing the number of server locations can notably reduce the costs for a CDN provider.

Our Vision

This is exactly the vision that we have for BunnyCDN. By reducing the infrastructure costs, we can focus on providing an affordable but highly effective solution that anyone can afford.

We don't only want nodes in order to boast about the number of locations that we support, but we make sure that each location is strategically located on the map, where it has the biggest impact on the network while being a cost effective solution for you.

If you wish to learn more about how we do this, you can check our network page.