As the sysadmin in our organization I've been asked to look into CDN solutions as we have plans to roll out a web platform that is targeted at developing countries. Here is my research so far on the subject.

CDN as a service:
With solutions from companies such as akamai (leader), limelight (good player), cloudfare (startup with a freemium model)

-easy to get going (just pay, setup some DNS entries and you're good to go)
-controlled cost

-have to rely on features/service provided by CDN which is unlikely to meet your special demands if your are a small organization like ours.

Cloud providers:
amazon and others which provide you with APIs and clouds in various locations which allow you to provide a CDN-like service.

-more flexible than aforementioned CDNs

-more work required to get going

Your own CDN:
With DNS and server load balancing products from companies such as F5 Networks, Juniper, Cisco hosted in datacenters.

-you have full control over the infrastructure and can implement a solution that really fits your needs

-requires massive investments

If you have knowledge about CDNs, can you share your experience with a PROS/CONS approach? Do you happen do know CDN solutions that perform well in developing countries?

  • This question for sysadmins would be a better at ServerFault but you may want to limit it to "Which CDN solutions cater to developing countries?" as polling/open-ended questions are against question policy and are likely to be closed by moderators.
    – danlefree
    Aug 30, 2011 at 18:24

2 Answers 2


Pros of CDN:

  • Noticeable boost in rendering time of your pages.
  • Relieving your server load and bandwidth usage

In general, the cons that I can think of are

  • Price: Even with the most affordable CDN providers you should count on something like $0.10 per GB of CDN delivery which is generally much higher than a dedicated server's bandwidth.
  • Possible security vulnerability: If you happen to put your sensitive files on CDN.
  • Difficulty of deployment: If you don't use decent systems like Drupal or Wordpress, you may need to re-write a lot of you codes to serve static files through CDN.

As an "affordable" option, you may have a look at maxcdn. I have used it for a while and was quite happy with it. It offers pretty competitive pricing and has several nodes around the world, including some in Far Eeas Asia. They may not be among the biggest CDN providers but user interface and costumer's relationship are very decent.


The only thing that comes to my mind is this: Akamai is the largest player. Period. Limelight and others seem to do a good job in first world countries, but if you are specifically targeting developing countries, you may be out of luck with the "smaller than Akamai" players. In China, India, Pakistan, South Africa, etc. Akamai outperformed Limelight in my scenario by lenghts.

  • Yes, good point. Many of the CDNs only have servers in the rich, developed continents.
    – Simon East
    Aug 14, 2013 at 5:27

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