CDN Log Analysis
Since the beginning of the Internet, the speed of delivering content has been an issue. While processor enhancements, network acceleration, and web frameworks have brought drastic…
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Beyond their primary function of bringing internet content closer to client servers, CDNs also play a vital role in network security. For instance, CDN helps you absorb traffic overloads from DDoS attacks by distributing traffic across many servers.
However, the volume of servers under your CDNs control and their geographically distributed nature presents its own set of risks, operational and security. Choosing the best CDN monitoring tool is critical to the end-user experience.
CDN monitoring uses the critical performance metrics and output from your network to determine the performance impact of the CDN on your network. It also allows you to identify performance issues at the network edge or the origin and fix them quickly. A CDN monitoring tool’s key metrics to identify anomalies include logs, latency data, bandwidth usage data, origin server data, etc.
Although their primary function is to simplify the delivery of content to your customers in different geographical locations, CDNs themselves take a complicated path to achieve it.
Various dependency layers integrate to make your CDN function efficiently.
Further, some organizations adopt a multi-CDN approach, with each CDN handling hundreds, if not thousands, of servers. There are simply too many moving parts to leave unwatched, so CDN monitoring is critical.
Without monitoring your CDN, every performance issue has to be manually analyzed to pinpoint the cause. This will significantly increase your Mean Time To Resolution (MTTR), and some of your customers won’t stick around that long.
Also, you won’t be able to identify these issues before they cause downtime. The downtime would be your first hint that something was wrong, and it’s usually too late.
Most importantly, CDN monitoring helps you identify user experience optimization areas. Without CDN monitoring, you cannot improve your user experience, and yes, your customers will move on.
CDN monitoring directly benefits you in one crucial way: improved user experience. CDN monitoring helps you extract the most optimal performance from your CDN, ensuring that your users get the content they want, when, and where they want it. CDN monitoring helps you collect vital datasets that tell you the conditions in which your entire network, CDN included, is fulfilling user requests.
For example, CDNs cache content at the network edge to reduce the bandwidth usage on the origin server. Instead of forwarding requests to the origin, the edge server simply fulfills requests with the cached content.
Collecting data on the percentage of requests fulfilled by cached content (known as cache hit ratio) allows you to determine bandwidth usage on the origin. And take steps to reduce it where needed. A high cache hit ratio indicates that your CDN edge servers are functioning well, which means your users enjoy speedy content delivery.
Observability tools provide you with real-time insight into the internal health of your network by monitoring output data like logs, metrics, and traces. A tool like Coralogix provides this data in a single, full-stack CDN monitoring dashboard.
For example, while the cache hit ratio might tell you the percentage of requests fulfilled at the edge, it does not show each request’s path. Distributed tracing features from the Coralogix dashboard, however, can track the path of each request, noting the servers it passes through and its final point of fulfillment. You can easily use distributed tracing to determine if each request is being fulfilled by the nearest edge server and map your system efficiently.
With Coralogix’s CDN monitoring dashboard, you can convert all your vast and noisy CDN log data into trackable metrics using the Logs2Metrics solution. You no longer need to index the log files manually.
The Coralogix CDN monitoring tool also provides a one-click function called Archive Query that allows you to access all your archived CDN monitoring data in a single location.
Real-time alerting and proactive security measures like the OOB (Out-of-the-Box) security dashboard complete Coralogix’s full-stack CDN monitoring dashboard. This easy-to-deploy security solution helps you track threats at the micro level with a rate-limiting function that protects against DDoS attacks and other malicious hacks.
Synthetic monitoring tools like Catchpoint’s IPM platform help you simulate real user traffic to test the performance of your CDN. They have servers distributed worldwide, and from there, they simulate user traffic and send it to your network to catch performance issues before it goes operational.
For example, some tests test the latency difference between cache hits and cache misses (requests that go to the origin). By overriding the DNS, requests are sent directly to the origin, and then you can compare the latency with requests fulfilled from cached data.
Real user monitoring tools provide data on transactions between your users and your CDN. KeyCDN’s monitoring tool is a good example of this, providing data on every piece of content it delivers to users and the conditions surrounding each request. These types of tools tell you exactly how your end users interact with the application and the effect of your CDN in smoothening the process.
Performance testing tools like ThousandEyes work similarly to synthetic monitoring tools. They test each network component in isolation and together to identify performance issues. CDN performance monitoring tools can be deployed before or after your system goes operational.
Coralogix’s full-stack observability platform helps you optimize both your monitoring cost and ease of accessibility with innovative features such as OOB security dashboards and the logs module. With our Logs2Metrics module, you can directly convert your logs to useful data. Pull valuable insights from your log data without breaking the bank.
Not just that, your data is accessible as well. Coralogix pulls your CDN monitoring data into a single location where you can get an overview of your overall network health. Based on this data, OOB security dashboards can provide real-time alerting for abnormal behavior and help you monitor your CDN server effectively.
Choose better visibility into your CDN’s efficiency with Coralogix.