Flow of the Akamai CDN

The Akamai CDN has additional components when compared to a traditional network. Let's compare the typical process of how a customer accesses your content without Akamai with how they access your content when you use the Akamai CDN.

Without Akamai

A typical interaction on the Internet looks like this:

  1. The client requests content from your server or website.

  2. The request is sent to a DNS, which looks up the URL and returns the correct IP address for that URL to the client.

  3. The client sends a request to that IP address.

  4. Your server returns the content to the client device.

With Akamai

The Akamai CDN speeds up your customers access to your content by redirecting client requests sent to your origin server to a more closely located Akamai edge server.

When you configure your web server to use the Akamai CDN, a typical interaction looks like this:

  1. The client requests some content. As far as your customer knows, their browser or app goes to the URL of your website—for example, https://www.example.com.

  2. Since you’ve added a record to your DNS, the DNS server reroutes the client request to an edge server. Akamai determines the best edge server to deliver the content to the client.

  3. The edge server determines if the content is up to date by examining the time to live (TTL) you’ve set for cached content.

    1. If the content is up to date, the edge server sends the cached version of the requested content to the client.
    2. If the content has expired, the edge server requests updated content. The updated content is held in the edge server cache for your TTL.