How to test CDN behavior with the help of Dummy Origin?
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Prior to ordering a new CDN (content delivery network) you should know how it will work for your website, and what its behavior will be like. Of course, you can read CDN documentation and talk with customer support agents, but a picture is worth a thousand words. If you want to test the servers rigorously and find out whether CDN meets performance requirements, consider using Dummy Origin that will do it at ease.

What is it?

Dummy Origin is a server created specifically for evaluating CDN network performance in an origin pull setup. It is pretty easy to install, and works pretty quickly and flawlessly. You will have a lot of options for free, because it’s open source!

Why do we recommend using Dummy Origin instead of putting CDN in front of the real origin with content? It is simply easier to use and shows better flexibility concerning response headers and CDN behavior evaluation.


The key feature used in Dummy Origin is response header injection: all query string parameters will be served as headers with response. Arbitrary response header injection allows for checking CDN behavior easily and without need to alter server configuration or to restart it. Other features include:

  • - You will discover whether CDN request files from the main server are compressed or uncompressed.
  • - Testing is enabled if CDN starts sending conditional requests after file expiration in the cache.
  • - You can transfer large files via CDN like videos.
  • - Check how CDN behaves in case of different origin error responses.
  • - Define if CDN served a file from cache, and how long it has been stored there.
  • - Keep tabs on the origin logs in real time: this is useful for checking CDN to origin requests.

When testing the CDN with Dummy Origin, upload some files to the origin server, set TTL for files and check how the network behaves after file expiration, how quickly the data is transferred, etc. Detailed reports will help you to get all essential information.

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