May’s been a busy month here at MIDAS HQ!

Not only have we migrated Certificate Authorities, we’ve also been testing a new Content Delivery Network (CDN) feature in MIDAS.

What does a CDN do?

To explain what a CDN does, imagine viewing a photograph online. That image will be stored on a web server somewhere. Say you’re in the UK and the server where the image resides is located in Australia. It will take your browser longer to establish a connection and retrieve the image from the other side of the world than if the server was located in the same country as you. Now, we may only be talking of a few fractions of a second longer, but if you’re viewing a web page containing several photographs, that can soon add up!

A Content Delivery Network vastly improves performance. It achieves this by storing (or “caching”) a copy of the original photograph on multiple servers all around the world. Then, when a viewer requests the photograph, the CDN serves a cached copy from whichever server is geographically closest to the viewer. This greatly improves the load time for the viewer. It also reduces the load on the original server, as the photograph is served from the CDN “cache” instead.

As a CDN “caches” a source file/web page, it is only suitable for “static” content which doesn’t change frequently, for example, images, JavaScript, Cascading Style Sheets, downloads, etc). “Dynamic” content – content which changes frequently/upon each visit – must still be served directly from the origin server, rather than via the CDN.

CDN Support in MIDAS

In MIDAS v4.18 we unofficially introduced support for serving static resources from a CDN (Cloudflare). This has been automatically enabled for all MIDAS trials and for all new cloud-hosted customers since the start of April. Since then, we’ve been closely monitoring its impact and effectiveness.

As our CDN trials proved effective and exceeded our expectations, throughout May we’ve been engaged in a phased roll-out of the CDN for remaining cloud-hosted customers. We’re pleased to announce that all cloud-hosted MIDAS systems now have CDN support enabled.

We’re currently seeing nearly 90% of all requests for static resources being served directly from Cloudflare’s global CDN network. This has led to performance improvements and reduction in load times of customer’s hosted MIDAS systems of between 13% – 67%!

We’re sure you’ll appreciate these performance improvements. They’re part of our ongoing commitment to provide the best possible service for our customers! …and we’ve more improvements and enhancements in the pipeline too!