CDN is short for Content Delivery Network. People at times misapprehend CDN’s and thought that it is a feature using which a website can be backed up. Website backup is considered vital because it is thought to uphold the availability of a site. Contingent on how a website has been created, a website backup solution should be able to replicate the main server when it is dysfunctional which could comprise of database application, CMS or other reliant integrations to offer complete functionality to the website. CDN could be substituted for a website backup but it has limited functions if the server breaks down. Below is a clearer picture of CDN vs. Web Site Backup.
Understanding CDN’s and Web Site Backup
CDN is a structure of dispersed network which delivers web content and pages to a specific user located in the geographical location of the individual, the source of the webpage and a server which delivers content.
Site backups offer automated daily backups for your database and websites. Regular backups help in restoring the data in case of emergencies or server breakdowns.
When Should CDN be Used instead of Site Backup
If you are still confused between them and wish to know about CDN vs. Web Site backup in detail here is a better explanation.
There are three situations where a CDN could provide you with its functionalities as a backup solution.
- When the server is being hacked
- When there is a DDoS attack on the server
- When the traffic is too high for a website
When your server is being hacked
Server or web application attacks are meant for pilfering information or database or there could be a failure of the server because of corruption in the website. In order to safeguard against such attacks, CDN’s provides a multifaceted WAF (Web Application Firewall) besides its CDN services.
A DNS failover or a web site backup solution could only be a temporary solution to a big problem. There are some CDN’s which offer a range of services that could decrease exhausted traffic and entirely remove the need of DNS failover for a web server and additionally stop downtime which is triggered because of server attacks.
When there is a DDoS attack on the server
Cyber-crime is sweeping the internet and there are many who have already been through the pain of DDoS attacks. DDoS attacks harm your company’s reputation, destroy your data and incur business losses too. An attacker could disrupt your server momentarily or for an indefinite period. CDN’s could partly help in preventing such attacks. They would work best if combined with an effective DDoS mitigation solution.
When the traffic is too high for a website
Every time a user opens your website, these static contents are downloaded from a CDN edge server which is closest to it in place of the actual web server which contains the web page. This automatically shoots the uptime of a web server, by divesting traffic to the main server that decreases memory, CPU and bandwidth usage on the server. CDN could store or cache static content and speedup the dynamic or non-static content. This is possible if you have an effective service provider who is equipped with such tools.
Speeding up the performance of a website could be done by a method known as ‘sharding’. In sharding the static content is stored in a different location and it helps in keeping the CPU and the main server free from added data by giving it additional storage space and memory. It divides the traffic to download the static content by guiding it to the secondary storage location. There could be some companies that don’t have a spare storage location, in this case your service provider could help you with a cloud storage to host the static content of your website.
If you do have other servers but are not able to a premise load balancer as the servers are physically in different locations then look for cloud load balancing service.
While website backups are important, CDN plays a vital role in the storage of content. Increasing popularity of your website will increase the traffic too and a reliable hosting service provider will help you grow your business more. There are many hosting companies which offer basic website backup service, but what is actually required is a live failover so you have complete control over your server and know it never disappoints you when it would come to getting back the lost data.
With a right hosting service provider you could ensure the safety of your website. CDN’s and website backups when combined with some precise tools will make your website safe and in case there is an attack on your server they help to fight it back besides keeping your data safe.
So, it is not about CDN vs. Web Site Backup, it is about knowing what these features are meant for and using it for the protection and safety of your server and website.