Is the number of PoPs in CDN is so important?
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The choice of CDN (Content Delivery Network) depends on many aspects, including the number of PoPs (Points of Presence) offered by CDN provider. Being located in mission-critical regions, PoPs ensure that the distance between the end-user and the edge server will be as low as possible for the content to reach the destination faster.

Some companies regard the number of PoPs as the factor determining CDN service quality. However, while an optimal amount of PoPs means quicker content delivery, its excess may have adverse effects. Let’s find out why PoP count isn’t always the most crucial aspect, and how relevant PoP distribution can make content delivery brilliant.

When do you need more PoPs?

Points of presence have several important features:
  • 1. They bring content closer to the visitors.
  • 2. Perform load balancing.
  • 3. Offer redundancy.

Thus, additional PoPs would be better for companies with global coverage and large audience spread across the globe. It will help to serve bandwidth-hungry media like high resolution pictures, video and audio. A company that expands its presence in some certain region will also benefit from additional PoPs in its CDN network.

When there is no point in many PoPs?

If the architecture of your CDN solution is too robust for your requirements, you overpay for what you actually don’t need. What really matters is not the number of PoPs of CDN service, but their relevance to your target audience.  You should simply choose a CDN technology that provides better coverage, not the higher number of PoPs.

When performing CDN comparison, it is important to get cost effectiveness and reliability into consideration. What makes CDN useful is the location of PoPs and their relation to users. Besides, you should pay attention to their density. For instance, if you have end-users in the USA and South America, most PoPs should be concentrated in this area – not somewhere else. A properly chosen CDN solution means that you spend money not in vain, and it goes to support the infrastructure that truly works for your business.

Static content vs dynamic content

While most companies need their static content (images, CSS, JavaScript, etc.) to be delivered, the number of servers and PoPs focusing on static assets is much more than the ones created especially for the dynamic content. However, it doesn’t mean that companies don’t need dynamic content transfer acceleration. However, dynamic content is more difficult to cache, and makes users be redirected to the origin server more often. How to decide then?

Services that need higher PoP density are the ones that deliver large static files (game downloads, media and software). Since such files usually don’t change, CDN can deliver more content before having to address the origin server. Besides, the customers won’t have to wait long to get the content.

On the opposite, services that supply more dynamic content, don’t need high PoP density, because it has to be frequently duplicate, and users are often sent to the origin server.


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