CDNs and What They Mean to Physicians


[Anonymous IT Expert]

DOCTOR – Do you like the internet? Do you use EMRs/EHRs? Do you like fast internet? Of course you do.

But, without a strong infrastructure of content delivery networks (CDNs), website loading times would be too slow to stream tele-health/tele-medicine visits or tela-radiology services; not to mention Netflix, or argue with Reddit strangers or your patients; etc.

CDNs are geographically distributed networks of servers that handle processing and speed up internet delivery. In practice, CDNs make website content like HTML pages, JavaScript files, style-sheets, images, and videos load faster. They also reduce bandwidth costs, handle more traffic, and provide a little security protection. 

  • CDNs don’t actually host web content, but instead keep cached versions of it at the ready in edge servers. 


How CDN Works? How to Find the Cheapest CDN Provider?


Fastly is one of a number of significant CDN providers that help form the infrastructure of the internet. And while the outage shows the breadth of its reach, it’s far from the biggest player—Akami, Cloudflare, and Amazon CloudFront take up 75% of revenue in CDN space, per Intricately.

But Fastly, one of the world’s largest cloud computing companies itself, just had an outage that shut down its CDN service, affecting major websites including the New York Times, HBO Max, and the British government’s homepage. 

ASSESSMENT: Were you or your clinic or hospital affected? Your thoughts and comments are appreciated.

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