Delivering file-based content over the increasingly congested public internet is a challenge. Not only do you have to compete with more than 20 billion connected devices1, but also with a growing number of users accessing, streaming and downloading a rapidly expanding universe of content.
The result is a growing congestion that can undermine your ability to get your software, game, patch or device update to your end users as quickly as possible. And every minute that your users spend trying to download your content is a minute they can’t spend using it.
The key to a high quality user experience lies in a reliable, efficient service that minimizes latency. There is more to latency than just internet congestion. Anything that gets in the way of a user accessing your software — the webpage or download portal, your publishing process—can undermine the download experience.
The key to tackling the latency challenge lies in the systems, infrastructure, and processes you use to make your download available. In order to provide your files as quickly and efficiently as possible, you need to optimize how you deliver them to ensure that the entire experience is fast, secure, and globally available.
You need to reach your users with the same levels of performance, availability and security wherever they are in the world. When it comes to delivering downloads, there are several important elements to consider:
Anything in your file-based content download workflow that causes users to wait works against your brand. In order to minimize latency and provide the best possible user experience, there are several areas to consider:
Users are becoming less tolerant of delay. They expect an on-demand experience and your ability to deliver that experience directly impacts your brand and reputation. When it comes to downloads, your audience expects a download experience that is:
Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks are on the rise. The first half of 2020 saw a 151% increase in the number of DDoS attacks compared to the same period in 20192. Yet even organizations that are not the direct target of such attacks may be impacted by them - an attack against someone in the same datacenter as you could make it more difficult for users to reach your website. Whether directly or indirectly impacted by an attack, the result is a flood of support emails and phone calls. You need the peace of mind to know that in the event of a DDoS attack, your software, updates, or firmware are still available for download.
Ensuring that your downloads happen quickly can be a challenge. Internet traffic is growing rapidly with content like online video that can interrupt or compromise the speed of your delivery—it can slow your file downloads as well as the webpages through which you make your content accessible.
In order to ensure quick, reliable, and consistent downloads you need to position your software as close as possible to your end users. A CDN achieves this by caching your file-based content across a distributed network to minimize the distance between your content and users. The CDN ensures you have the available capacity to meet anticipated demand, as well as burst capacity during peak periods. The CDN also offloads your origin from user download requests, giving you greater control over your infrastructure costs, including egress charges.
The unavailability of your download service results in failed downloads and frustrated users. Your CDN needs to be highly available with built-in redundancies. The CDN is also able to minimize the load on your origin servers, protecting them from becoming overwhelmed or unavailable and preserving a reliable download service for your customers.
It is important to protect the investment you’ve made in your software. Having access control and authentication systems in place to ensure only authorized users are able to download file-based content, as well as mechanisms like HTTPS to deliver encrypted that content, are of crucial importance to support this type of delivery at scale.
Limelight’s solutions can simplify your download workflow, maximize resources efficiently, and speed up file downloads, helping you deliver a great experience to your customers:
Limelight provides a number of software and infrastructure components to ensure you can provide the best possible download experience for your customers:
Figure 1: File-Based Content Download Workflow
Delivering software downloads or device updates is no easy task. Although the components may seem simple, optimizing them is not. In order to orchestrate the best possible download experience for your end users, you need to fine-tune three critical features of your workflow—the speed at which you deliver your files, the availability of your downloads, and the security of your file-based content. Limelight’s solutions ensure that your files are delivered quickly to your users regardless of where they are, so that you can focus on developing great content.