Can CDNs remain relevant in an Agile Development world?

83% of businesses have or are implementing agile development methodologies. The race here is run and agile is the answer.

With the majority of web shops now embracing agile methodologies, are CDNs are drifting away from mainstream processes?

Let’s consider what a Content Delivery Network is quickly.

  • A DNS layer which detects, decides and directs traffic to the best destination for that request.
  • A layer of reverse proxies which intercept the traffic on the way through and in some way manipulate the request - inspect, block, respond, reroute, modify etc.

All current CDNs are still built on 18 years old network first principles. Back then, it made sense to run a waterfall CDN deploy alongside a waterfall software build. The CDN industry have not moved away from the black box networks which support waterfall deployments.

Static object caching is boring and we all know that the biggest bang for buck when running on a CDN is when you have the application well integrated with the CDN. More HTML offload and more tailored WAF rulesets can be run when this is the case. The best place to integrate the application with CDN? In development, not in production. Why? fast feedback loops and the ability to comfortably make mistakes. We all know the cost differential of mistakes in production versus development.

Reverse proxies are a smart way to add value to a web application, whether that be security, performance or scalability. I am confident that they will continue to be so but they should be relevant in an agile world. For CDNs to remain relevant in an agile world, engineers need to be provided the opportunity to write application code or configure the CDN settings in the safety of the development environment in the same way they do for database or application changes.

CDN for agile is a new trend – section.io is the only CDN which is hooked up to provide an immediately seamless integration with agile development workflows. Backed by Git and with the same, open, real time logs and metrics stack in Dev, Test, Staging and Production, developers and engineers have all the right tools to manage the CDN completely.

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