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Cotendo, a site acceleration and content delivery network (CDN), announced the general availability of a cloud-based CDN, Cloudlet. The CDN provides better support for targeted and personalized content, a necessity for Web 2.0 style sites.

A Web 2.0-Style Content Distribution Network

According to JupiterResearch, 33% of consumers will abandon a web page that takes longer than four seconds to load. This collective lack of patience has prompted many organizations to turn to CDNs to reduce load times. CDNs speed website performance by reducing the number of requests that a web server must handle. The offloaded requests reduce bandwidth and processing requirements, speeding the site’s responsiveness.

Cotendo’s Cloudlet service has the capabilities of a traditional CDN, but embraces the reality of web interaction -- dynamic content and personalization. Traditional CDNs place content closer to users, but make no distinction about the consumer of the content.

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Traditional CDN vs. Cloudlet

Cloudlet allows personalization and dynamic decision making to occur for content that is cached and managed via the Cotendo CDN. Cloudlet enables sites to deliver cached content that is content-aware (e.g. cookies), device specific and selective by context (e.g. user’s location). The business logic for dynamic content moves from the origin web server to Cotendo’s network, allowing decision-making closer to the consumer of the content and faster performance.

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Edge business logic

Another benefit of the service that will be attractive for some organizations is the reduced level of code changes required to use Cloudlet vs. traditional CDN and site acceleration services. Typically, leveraging a CDN requires some initial integration effort and code modification for the acceleration service to work properly. Then, ongoing site enhancements must take into account what the acceleration service will provide or allow. Cloudlet allows manipulation of content on the edge in Cotendo’s network, reducing constraints on the origin web server and speeding deployment times.

What does it mean? Sites that need to provide content to mobile devices, or globally or any other specialized consumer, can reduce calls to their servers by up to 90% by leveraging Cloudlet because there is no need to contact the origin server to execute business logic.

Other notable abilities include:

  • Security and access control: Access-control list (ACL): whitelist/blacklist by IP, authentication
  • URL manipulations: URL rewrite and redirect, parameters manipulations and parameters for caching, regex on URL
  • Geographic targeting: Rewrite or redirect by location, cookie with location content
  • Mobile: Rewrite or redirect by mobile device (user-agent), by cookie with mobile content
  • Advanced cache keys: Add conditions to cache keys (cookies, headers, regex on URL)

The service integrates with Cotendo’s other site acceleration and performance services.

Will Akamai, AT&T and other CDNs have to accelerate their own feature development to keep up with Cotendo? We will be watching.