A Practical Guide to Content Delivery Networks: 2nd Edition (Paperback) book cover

A Practical Guide to Content Delivery Networks

2nd Edition

By Gilbert Held

CRC Press

304 pages | 78 B/W Illus.

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pub: 2018-09-27
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pub: 2010-10-12
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Following in the tradition of its popular predecessor, A Practical Guide to Content Delivery Networks, Second Edition offers an accessible and organized approach to implementing networks capable of handling the increasing data requirements of today's always on mobile society. Describing how content delivery networks (CDN) function, it provides an understanding of Web architecture, as well as an overview of the TCP/IP protocol suite.

The book reports on the development of the technologies that have evolved over the past decade as distribution mechanisms for various types of Web content. Using a structural and visual approach, it provides step-by-step guidance through the process of setting up a scalable CDN.

  • Supplies a clear understanding of the framework and individual layers of design, including caching and load balancing
  • Describes the terminology, tactics, and potential problems when implementing a CDN
  • Examines cost-effective ways to load balance web service layers
  • Explains how application servers connect to databases and how systems will scale as volume increases
  • Illustrates the impact of video on data storage and delivery, as well as the need for data compression
  • Covers Flash and the emerging HTML5 standard for video

Highlighting the advantages and disadvantages associated with these types of networks, the book explains how to use the networks within the Internet operated by various ISPs as mechanisms for effectively delivering Web server based information. It emphasizes a best-of-breed approach to building your network to allow for an effective CDN to be built on practically any budget. To help you get started, this vendor-neutral reference explains how to code Web pages to optimize the delivery of various types of media. It also includes examples of successful approaches, from outsourcing to do it yourself.


Held, a networking expert and lecturer, presents this guide to the principles of content delivery networks (CDN). Built to provide multiple, easily accessible nodes for dispensing high bandwidth content (web video for instance) without overloading internet backbone capacities, CDNs help reduce the bottlenecks that occur when popular content resides on a single over-accessed server. This volume begins with an overview of client and server models of information networking and the TCP/IP Internet protocols and proceeds through an examination of the CDN model, caching and load balancing and concludes with a discussion of CDN in an enterprise setting and web hosting options with CDN. Intended for network architects and server administrators, this second edition includes extended information on web video including Flash and new HTML 5 standards.

—In Research Book News, booknews.com, February 2011

Table of Contents

Introduction to Content Delivery Networking

The Modern Content Delivery Network




Client-Server Computing

Use of Video Servers

Server Network Architecture

The Road to Push Technology

Pull Technology


Push Technology

Content Delivery Networking

Client-Server Operations on the Internet

Client Server Operating on the Same Network

Client-Server Operations on Different Networks

Peering Point

Video Considerations

Client-Server Models


Client Operations




Browser Programs

Server Operations

Distance Relationship

Understanding TCP/IP

The TCP/IP Protocol Suite

Protocol Suite Components

Physical and Data-Link Layers

The Network Layer

The Transport Layer

The Domain Name System

Need for Address Resolution

Domain Name Servers

Top-Level Domain

DNS Operation

Configuring Your Computer

Root Name Servers

The NSLookup Tool

Expediting the Name Resolution Process

DNS Resource Records

The CDN Model

Why Performance Matters

Economics of Poor Performance


Customer Loyalty



Company Perception

Examining Internet Bottlenecks

Entry and Egress Considerations

Access Delays

Egress Delays

Benefits of Edge Servers

Peering Points

Edge Operations

CDN Operation

The Akamai Network

Edge Side Includes

Edge Side Includes for Java


The Akamai HD Network

Using the HD Network with Flash

Caching and Load Balancing


Browser Cache

Other Types of Web Caches

Application Caching

Cache Operation

Cache Control Methods

Windows DNS Caching Problems

Viewing HTTP Headers

Considering Authentication

Enhancing Cacheability

Load Balancing

Types of Load Balancing


Load Balancing Technique

DNS Load Balancing

DNS Load-Sharing Methods

Managing User Requests

The CDN Enterprise Model



Traffic Analysis

Using Web Logs

Using Logging Strings

Web-Log Analysis

Top Referring Domains

Considering Status Codes

Web-Log Statistics

Reverse Mapping

SOA Record Components

Origination Country

Originating Time Zone

Other Statistics

Other Analysis Tools


Other Logging Information

Microsoft’s Performance Monitor

Using a Network Analyzer

Other Tools to Consider

Content Delivery Models

Single-Site, Single-Server Model

Single-Site, Multiple-Server Model

Multiple-Sites, Single-Server per Site Model

Multiple-Site, Multiple-Server per Site Model

An In-Between Model

Web-Hosting Options


Cost Elements and Total Cost

Performance Elements

Server-Side Language Support

Web-Service Tools

The Importance of Images

Back-End Database Support

Facility Location(s)

Types of Web-Hosting Facilities

Dedicated Hosting

Shared Server Hosting

Colocated Hosting

Evaluation Factors

About the Author

Gilbert Held is an award winning author, lecturer and educator. Gil graduated from Pennsylvania Military College, earning a BS in Electrical Engineering. In 1966 Gil earned a MSEE degree from the New York University School of Engineering and Science, and received an MSTM and MBA degrees from The American University in Washington, DC.

Gil was Chief of Data Communications for the US Office of Personnel Management for 20 years, until a reorganization and consolidation of data centers resulted in the closing of the Macon Data Center. Gil remained on staff in Macon and was tasked with developing OPM’s Web presence on the Internet and was responsible for designing, acquiring and constructing OPM’s presence on the Internet for which he received the Directors Award.

Between 1977 and the present Gil has authored over 100 technical books covering personal computing, data communications and business In addition, Gil authored over 500 technical articles and for 17 years has served as the Editor in Chief of the Wiley International Journal of Network Management. In recognition of his excellence in writing Gil twice was awarded the Interface Karp award. Gil has also received a variety of awards ranging from various charities to different publishers, such as Federal Week which considered him as one of the top 50 persons in Government and Academia.

In addition to authoring books, Gil has taught 14 different graduate level courses and was selected by the Vice President to represent the United States at the Popov Conference in Moscow and represented the United States at the Jerusalem Conference on Information Technology. Gil has appeared on the NBC Evening News and his technical book sales have exceeded a million copies.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Production & Operations Management
COMPUTERS / Networking / General
COMPUTERS / Internet / General
REFERENCE / Yearbooks & Annuals