Features of the Alibaba CDN
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This course focuses on Alibaba's Content Delivery Network (CDN), exploring its features, architecture, and use cases. You'll also follow along with a guided demo from the platform which will show you how to use the CDN console.

Learning Objectives

  • Learn CDN concepts and fundamentals
  • Understand the architecture of Alibaba Cloud's CDM service
  • Look at some of CDN's key features
  • Consider some common CDN scenarios and use cases
  • Learn how to use the CDN console

Intended Audience

This course is intended for anyone looking to use Alibaba CDN to manage their Alibaba Cloud workloads, as well as anyone studying for the ACP Cloud Computing certification exam.


To get the most out of this course, you should have a basic understanding of the Alibaba Cloud platform.


Now, let's take a look at some of CDN's features. Alibaba Cloud CDN includes a wide array of different features. If you look at the right side of the slide, in terms of monitoring and logging, we provide a variety of different resource monitoring metrics, so outbound and back-to-source bandwidth, hit rate, access queries per second, HTTP code, PV and UV figures, operator proportions, user's regional distribution, hot URLs and referrers, file response proportions, CC and WAF monitoring, and of course, diagnostic tools to help you make sense of all these data and the ability to download these logs for offline analysis.

Refresh and push, we offer file-based refresh and push, you could see that in the top center on the slide here, directory-based refresh and push. We have specific features for video acceleration, which you can see in the bottom middle portion of the slide, these features cover scenarios like live video broadcast, meaning live recording, authentication, and RTMP, M3U8, and FLV transcoding functions, as well as features for on-demand video streaming in MP4 and FLV formats with authentication and drag and drop playback. And then, several different domain function settings, which you can see on the left side of this slide here, including page optimization, smart compression, anti-leech protection, HTTPS support, range back-to-source, filtering parameters, custom error pages, specified back-to-source hosts, URL authentication, again, similar to the video acceleration case, cache expiration time configuration, custom HTTP headers, and of course, wildcard domain name support, supported both for static files and for video-on-demand.

Of course, the key point when using a CDN, the key reason to use a CDN is to increase speed. CDN has several methods that it uses to increase the speed of the CDN service, these include using solid-state disks, SSDs, for all layers of the Alibaba Cloud CDN cache, as well as page optimization settings that can remove spaces, line breaks, tabs, annotations, and other redundant content from pages that are being requested by users, so that those pages take less time to download. In addition to this, smart compression is supported, which can reduce the size of the content that the user needs to download, thereby accelerating the download speed. And of course you can also improve response time by collapsing multiple JavaScript and CSS files into a single request automatically, this is another feature of the Alibaba Cloud CDN that's geared toward improving download speeds.

Another important feature is advanced scheduling, this reduces complexity by supporting millions of domain names on a single CDN node, ensures high availability with multi-level policies, coordinate security, refresh, and content management systems using strong multi-system architectural building techniques, and of course, this enhances the user experience by allowing us to have real-time data scheduling options and advanced traffic prediction that improve throughput and reduce latency. What I'm talking about here is Alibaba's internal scheduling mechanism for the CDN cache for each CDN node. This is not something that you need to worry about as a user, CDN nodes are optimized automatically by us.

Alibaba Cloud CDN is a high-performance CDN, we offer high-speed audio and video download using acceleration features that are specifically designed for on-demand and live streaming media, quick and easy integrated solutions, which include media storage, slicing and transcoding, as well as access authentication, a smooth playback experience, which delivers on-demand audio and video, easy deployment support for MP4 and FLV video formats, and enhanced security for your media resources with link authentication and custom authentication keys. But of course, one of the core benefits of CDN is the ability to integrate seamlessly with other Alibaba Cloud services.

If you want to put Alibaba Cloud CDN in front of a site that's hosted on our Elastic Compute Service, ECS, or in front of a site that's hosted in an Object Storage Service, OSS bucket, or even in front of our Server Load Balancer, you can do that. CDN supports all three of those OSS, ECS, and SLB, and integrate seamlessly with our monitoring tools as well, like Alibaba Cloud's CloudMonitor. So monitoring, metrics generation, API access, and seamless support for a different origin site sources like OSS, ECS, and SLB are all built-in features of the Alibaba Cloud CDN. In the next section, we'll take a look at some use cases for CDN.

About the Author
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Alibaba Cloud, founded in 2009, is a global leader in cloud computing and artificial intelligence, providing services to thousands of enterprises, developers, and governments organizations in more than 200 countries and regions. Committed to the success of its customers, Alibaba Cloud provides reliable and secure cloud computing and data processing capabilities as a part of its online solutions.