Edge Caching: Basic Rules and Settings to Deliver Content Faster at the Edge

The next evolutionary leap for the CDN service is taking it to the edge, and that's what Edge Caching does. Get to know it now!

Isidro Iturat Hernández - Technical Researcher
Thiago Silva - Technical Researcher
Edge Caching: Basic Rules and Settings to Deliver Content Faster at the Edge

Since the emergence of CDN (Content Delivery Networks) services in the late 1990s,  they have been crucial in reducing Internet bottlenecks and accelerating delivery by caching content faster and closer to final users.

However, today’s Internet is very different from that of the ’90s. Now, website and application owners need solutions capable of delivering more services and processing more requests to quickly provide high-resolution images, video streaming, and dynamic content to a wide variety of concurrently connected devices, for example.

For this purpose, Azion’s Edge Application has the Edge Caching functionality, which applies the power of edge computing to store content in cache, closer to the end users, and perform other crucial tasks to speed up content delivery.

Edge Caching

Edge Caching is a module designed to reduce latency and improve the availability of websites and web applications on our edge platform.

The platform has a reverse proxy architecture that connects the edge locations of our highly distributed global network with the origin of the websites.

With the high granularity required for efficient caching of today’s complex websites, Edge Caching minimizes the number of data trips from edge locations to the origin.  

With this solution, Azion users can set up separate settings for browser and edge caching, enable a second layer of storage for files with a longer lifetime, speed up the delivery of files and data, and accelerate the delivery of dynamic content.

In addition, by adopting the Azion Edge Computing Platform, you are able to build functions that improve caching and security rules, use observability tools that study data and user behavior accurately and consistently, and gain computational and processing power use at the edge, improving application and content delivery drastically.

Cache Settings

By adopting Edge Caching, you can choose to honor your origin’s cache settings or override them directly at the edge.

If you opt to use Edge Caching’s Cache Settings, you can choose between two versions:

  • One that is focused on static content, for which you don’t need to enable the Application Acceleration service;
  • One focused on other content types with specific needs, using Application Acceleration.

If you choose the first one, you can keep your static content cached right at the edge of the network, closer to your end user, which automatically reduces latency and improves your user’s experience. By choosing the second, you need to enable the Application Acceleration module, which opens up a wide variety of configuration options in the Cache Settings interface, such as caching by path (which enables granular caching), content segmentation, caching policies based in criteria such as name/value of Cookies and Query Strings, as well as features such as Bypass Cache, Forward Cookies, and support for POST/PUT and other HTTP methods.

For more information about cache settings enabled by Application Acceleration, you can also refer to our documentation.

L2 Cache

As mentioned above, today’s websites and applications are more complex and rich in content, which is why they contain multiple files with different needs in terms of caching.

Thus, while some objects need to change frequently, others remain unchanged and can be cached for long periods.

This is the case with streaming or educational platforms. Since the class recording files or series episodes won’t change frequently, keeping it cached at the edge will drastically reduce the traffic to the origin, thus reducing latency and traffic costs.

Azion’s L2 Cache provides an additional layer of caching between the edge and your origin infrastructure. With this, our customers can choose, by setting a TTL (time-to-live, the lifetime of a certain object in cache), to keep this type of content stored there for dynamic periods (which can vary from a few seconds to several months), reducing loads on the origin infrastructure.

In addition, you can use Real-Time Purge to expire your L2 Caching content ahead of schedule whenever necessary (for example, if there is a content change at the origin).

Slice Settings

High-definition videos and heavy content can generate long transfer times that end users are unwilling to tolerate as their performance expectations have never been higher.

Slice Settings is an Edge Caching feature that allows you to efficiently process large amounts of data by dividing files into smaller pieces that are gradually delivered to end users, rather than transferring the entire file at once.

It not only reduces latency, but it also optimizes network bandwidth utilization by delivering only what the user requests, only when the request comes in.

Advanced Cache Key

Advanced Cache Key is an Edge Caching feature that allows you to store dynamic content by grouping users according to various factors, such as geographic location, browsing history, or shopping profile.

Custom caching rules can be defined based on metadata such as cookies or query strings.

You can see how Edge Caching works by starting a free account.

If you have any questions, you can check out our documentation or speak directly with one of our experts.

Subscribe to our Newsletter