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We have a site that requires users to sign into. Typical stuff. Today, all the content (dynamic and static) is behind the login process, and you cannot access any of the pages or files via a URL unless you are logged in. This even applies for images, css, js, etc. This is a requirment, the content cannot be open to the world.

We have been thinking of moving the static content off to a separate server for performance and scalability reasons, but are unsure how to do this, and still have these files secure and not open to the world. Basically, the authentication would need to be passed to the separate server (or CDN) and verified before we could serve it up.

Perhaps this is not possible, and it is not a good case for separating static and dynamic content.

We are running a Microsoft Stack - ASP.NET, IIS 6, but could go IIS 7-7.5.

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tags i could not use 'scalability', 'iis' – mohlsen Jul 16 '10 at 19:08
up vote 4 down vote accepted

Some quick Googling gave me this: http://sldn.softlayer.com/wiki/index.php/SoftLayer_Network_ContentDelivery_Authentication_Token

Looks like, at least with SoftLayer, you can set a token on the user's machine that lets them authenticate with the CDN, thus allowing access to the content. I'm sure this ability varies based on CDN.

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As someone suggested a CDN with a token system should allow you to generate tokens for users, but this will likely end up in reducing the performance to that of delivering your files from the same server or worse.

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