Office Content Delivery Network

End users benefit from CDNs, or Content Delivery Networks, which keep Office 365 running smoothly. To speed up downloads and reduce perceived end user latency, cloud services like Office 365 employ CDNs to cache static assets closer to the browsers requesting them. The material in this topic will help you understand what Content Delivery Networks (CDNs) are and how Office 365 uses them.

A content delivery network (CDN) is a geographically distributed network made up of proxy and file servers in datacenters linked by high-speed backbone networks. CDNs are used to reduce latency and load times of a web site or service for a specific set of files and objects. For optimal service of incoming requests from any location, a CDN may include millions of endpoints.

Most enterprise cloud services rely on CDNs. Millions of consumers use cloud services like Office 365 to download a combination of proprietary content (like emails) and generic stuff (like icons) all at once. It’s more effective to keep graphics that everyone uses, such as icons, as close as possible to the user’s computer. Because it’s not feasible for every cloud provider to create CDN datacenters to store this generic content in every metro area, or even in every major Internet hub around the world, some of these CDNs are shared.

What can Office CDN do for your company?

By caching static assets closer to the browsers requesting them, the built-in Office Content Delivery Network (CDN) allows Office 365 administrators to improve the performance of their organization’s SharePoint Online pages. This helps to speed up downloads and minimize latency. For better compression and download speeds, the Office CDN use the http/2 protocol.

The Office CDN is made up of several CDNs that allow you to host static assets in numerous locations (or sources) and serve them via global high-speed networks. You can add public origins, private origins, or both depending on the type of content you wish to host in the Office 365 CDN.

Anyone with access to URLs to hosted assets can access content in public sources within the Office 365 CDN anonymously. Because public origins provide anonymous access to their material, you should only use them to cache non-sensitive generic stuff like JavaScript files, scripts, icons, and photos. The Office CDN is utilized by default to download generic resource assets from a public origin, such as Office 365 client applications.

User material such as SharePoint Online document libraries, sites, and proprietary graphics can be accessed privately through private origins within the Office 365 CDN. Content in private origins is protected by dynamically created tokens, allowing only users with permissions to the originating document library or storage place to access it. Only SharePoint Online material can be served from private origins in the Office 365 CDN, and assets can only be accessed through redirection from your SharePoint Online tenant.

How is Office CDN used to manage content?

The following is the fundamental data retrieval procedure:

Data is requested from Office 365 by your client (a browser or an Office client programme). If the data is part of a set of material housed by the CDN, Office 365 either returns it to your client or redirects them to the CDN URL. Your client downloads the data straight from the nearest CDN site if the data is already cached in a public origin; if the data is already cached in a private origin, the CDN service validates your Office 365 user account’s rights on the origin.

If you have rights, SharePoint Online creates a custom URL for you that includes the path to the CDN asset and two access tokens, and sends it to your client. Your client then downloads the data using the custom URL straight from the nearest CDN site, and if the data isn’t cached at the CDN, the CDN node requests the data from Office 365 and caches it for a period of time after your client receives it.

Using redirection, the CDN determines the closest data centre to the user’s browser and downloads the requested data from there. CDN redirection is rapid and can save users a lot of time when it comes to downloading.


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