Do you really need a CDN?


You're working on a site that needs to be fast, and it's going to be BIG -- lots of traffic and users. A CDN is a given essential then. Right? Well, maybe not.

That CDNs (content distribution networks) are required in order to make sites load fast, or for
those that are expected to have high-traffic is a common belief. We're going to face that head-on and see exactly when you really do need a CDN, and when you really don't.


  • Common assertions with regard to CDNs and static asset delivery will be explored in light of data gathered on actual site performance with and without the aid of CDNs.
  • Methods of identifying which scenarios can benefit from CDNs and which would be more suited to an environment without one.
  • Relatively high-level explanation of how to build your own CDN.
  • Other factors in site performance will also be discussed, to show how to identify where performance bottlenecks really originate, and what to do about said bottlenecks.

CDN, and other key concepts will be concisely explained for the uninitiated.

Audience skill level: Intermediate. While we won’t be examining technical concepts in great
detail, presentation will be of most value to audience members with some experience building
and tuning production web sites.

About the author

Michela Toscano is Principal Devops and Systems Engineer for IONICA, where she designs
builds, scales, tunes, stabilizes, and secures Internet infrastructure for mission-critical web
sites. Her clients include Jaguar Land Rover, The PNE, Sutton, the PHSA, UBC, and Grouse
Mountain, among others.

Michela has been working in devops and system administration for over 10 years, and in the
information technology field for over 18 years. She holds an MBA with technology and
marketing specializations from the University of British Columbia and a BA in Sociology and
Psychology from University of Nevada Las Vegas.

Session Track: 
DevOps + Performance
Experience level: