The Distance Problem
Every website lives and dies by its speed. A fast website is invisible to its users, allowing them to conduct their business smoothly and satisfactorily. Anything less than instant connections jolts the customer out of their transactions, making them painfully aware of the time it takes to navigate from page to page. Today’s web visitors have little patience for delays, and if frustration builds up enough, you will lose that customer to a competitor with a more performant website. Optimizing your website connection times should always be a top priority, but the solution is not just a question of speed, but distance as well.
Location, Location, Location
As true in the digital sphere as it is for real estate, location matters. If your website servers are housed in Sao Paulo, a web visitor in Buenos Aires is going to have a faster connection time than someone in New York, who will in turn have a faster connection than a user in Lisbon. Even though we think of website connections as instantaneous, distance still impacts speed. The further your servers are from your customers, the longer it will take. As enterprises pay increasing attention to their global presence, this inequality of data travel distance has been a hurdle that traditional systems still struggle to overcome. You can use every trick in the book to make your website performant, but if the end-user is too far away from your origin servers, those microseconds of difference are going to come with a significant price tag. According to WebFX, $2.6 billion in revenue is lost each year, just from customers losing patience with slow-loading websites.
The Distributed Edge
Edge networks provide an innovative solution to this inequity by rethinking the distance problem. If it’s taking too long for users to travel to your website, then perhaps the website should travel to your users. Edge networks are decentralized, meaning they don’t rely on a single master server or handful of servers based in a fixed location. Instead, edge networks are composed of many small nodes, each able to serve as its own server in handling queries and transmitting data.
While this has many benefits for security and stability, a distributed edge network offers an elegant path to make any website globally accessible. The very nature of edge environments is that they exist in the blurry border territory between traditional networks and users. Distributed edge networks spread out their points of presence to cover wide areas, nationally and internationally. With a big enough edge network, any user can access your website with a reduced data travel time through the edge nodes closest to that particular user. That user in Lisbon is now connecting to an edge node in Lisbon, While the New York user is connecting to an edge node in New York. Your global client base no longer cares where your business is located, because for all intents and purposes, you’re right next door. This does require sophisticated load balancing technology to ensure users are routed to the appropriate node, but with the right tool, edge nodes can drastically boost connection speeds by shaving precious seconds off of data travel time.
Azion Load Balancing
Azion has our own state of the art distributed edge network, with points of presence across the United States and globally. We care about creating a platform accessible to all users, and have built our network with a focus on bringing your website to the users that want to access it. Once you’ve achieved this new level of customer connectivity by operating on a distributed edge network, you’ll want to make sure you have a load balancing tool that can handle the complexity of such a network. Our in-house load balancing solution, Advanced Load Balancer, is custom built to meet the unique demands of the edge, using sophisticated layer 7 algorithms to connect your users to the nearest healthy node, ensuring a smooth and stable customer experience.
We live in an interconnected globe. No matter where you come from, you have the potential to draw an audience for your business from around the world. That is, if your website can handle it. With distributed edge nodes and edge load balancing, such as the solutions that Azion provides, you can draw in a global customer base, and grow your website to its full potential. Don’t let geography be the reason you lose out on customers. Move your website to the edge today!