Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Using less bandwidth

No, this isn't about using narrowband modes on the amateur bands. But it might be of interest to anyone who blogs or creates content on the web and is concerned that something they publish gets so many hits that they exceed their web hosting bandwidth allowance and get their website shut down - the so-called Slashdot effect.

I recently wrote about the Baby Black Widow Paddle for the HB-1A that Jerry W5JH offered to make. Jerry has had little interest so far and he asked if I could talk it up a bit so I posted an item on QRZ.com. I wanted to insert a picture of the prototype paddle, and QRZ requested a direct URL, so I used the image that is already on my blog.

After posting, I became concerned that the number of downloads of this image from QRZ.com - which has rather more readers than this blog, I suspect! - might push g4ilo.com over its 10GB monthly bandwidth allowance. Then I remembered a tip that allows you to simply use a "cloud computing" distribution network to take the load off your own server.

The Coral Content Distribution Network is a free peer-to-peer content distribution network that caches popular content automatically on a worldwide network of web proxy servers. Using it as simple as adding .nyud.net to the hostname part of the address of the image file, video or whatever.

So if http://www.g4ilo.com/images/mypicture.jpg is the real address of my picture, I would put http://www.g4ilo.com.nyud.net/images/mypicture.jpg as the address to use. The first time someone loads the page containing the image it will be read from my server and cached. When the next person loads the page they will get the cached copy, so my server bandwidth is saved. It's simple, and best of all it's free!
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