Photo credit: Lisa Mani
*Editor's Note: The following guest post is by Brad Litwin at A2
Hosting, one of the CloudFlare Hosting
partners. They asked to talk about how
CloudFlare is helping their customers. Learn more about the CloudFlare hosting partner program.*
When I spoke to our web development team about what information should go on our CDN Hosting page, we wanted to make sure that our customers and site visitors understood how CloudFlare could accelerate their site's speed. Content delivery networks are such a new technology that we decided a bit of education was in order.
Our team came up with a very cool, and somewhat goofy analogy, to describe the benefits of using CloudFlare. Unfortunately we didn't end up using it. What a shame! After reading CloudFlare's blog, it's obvious they have a fun team much like our own (props on the "The Office" video by the way) so I decided to give our goofy analogy a second chance in this post.
Here's a little background. We LOVE pizza at A2 Hosting. We'll argue and debate pizza toppings and crust flavors until we're blue in the face, but in the end there's never a slice remaining regardless of the type of pizza we order. We had pizza on our mind when we came up with the analogy.
It's actually rather simple. Think of yourself as an international pizza delivery company with only one restaurant. Absurd I know, but hang with me. If you're located in San Francisco, how would you deliver a pizza to one of your customers in Paris? This would take a few days right? Not only would the cheese be cold and hard by the time it reached your customer, but the BBQ chicken and bacon toppings (cause that is the BEST pizza) would start to get a funk. Instead, you would set up a chain of restaurants closer to your customers to make sure that pizza is piping hot when it reaches them.
This is essentially what CloudFlare does. It delivers pizza (your site's content) from a restaurant (server) closest to your customers. You wouldn't deliver pizzas to a Paris customer if you were located in San Francisco. Why would you want your site's content sent all the way from a San Francisco-based server to your Paris-based site visitor? That would take a long time, right? Instead, CloudFlare automatically chooses the closest server to your site visitor and delivers the content from that server. The closer the server, the faster your site runs.
Come host your site at A2 Hosting. We've partnered with CloudFlare to offer their CDN solution directly from within your hosting control panel. With a single click of your mouse, you'll opt into CloudFlare's CDN network! Oh, and if you're ever in Ann Arbor, make sure to drop by with a pizza and say hi!