Cloud Files CDN Compresses at the Edge

Filed in by Megan Wohlford | March 4, 2011 9:54 am

Distributing your files over a content distribution network (CDN) is all about increasing speed and expanding your global footprint.  The Cloud Files[1] team is dedicated to making sure our CDN is up to date with technologies that can increase that performance whenever possible.

We are pleased to announce the launch of HTTP Compression on the Cloud Files CDN.  HTTP Compression is a simple, cost saving process.  When a browser requests an object, it may also supply an “Accept-Encoding” header that tells the CDN whether or not it will accept a compressed response. The CDN will then serve the object compressed, or not, at the browser’s preference. With this feature, the Cloud Files CDN is smart enough to know how the browser wants the object, convert that object and serve it accordingly.

Compression occurs when you store an object in Cloud Files and serve it over the CDN.  HTTP Compression will only work for uncompressed content in Cloud Files that the browser requests to be served compressed over the CDN.   If an object is stored in Cloud Files compressed and the browser requests to serve it uncompressed, the CDN edge can’t currently convert the object.  We plan to add this functionality (storing compressed files and serving them uncompressed) in upcoming releases.

Why do you want HTTP compression on your CDN?

Compressed objects can be downloaded more quickly than uncompressed objects resulting in faster page load times for your users and lower bandwidth costs for you. The Cloud Files CDN supports compression on HTML, JavaScript, and CSS, files ( “text/html*”, “application/x-javascript*”, and “text/css*” content types, respectively).

This feature has been added to Cloud Files functionality and does not require any specific configuration or action on your part.  We’re excited to offer this feature to you and look forward to hearing your responses, questions, and feedback.

Endnotes:
  1. Cloud Files: http://www.rackspace.com/cloud/cloud_hosting_products/files/

Source URL: http://www.rackspace.com/blog/cloud-files-cdn-compresses-at-the-edge/