How Akamai content delivery works

​Akamai​ content delivery's basic function is to deliver your site or application using the ​Akamai​ Edge Network, a CDN. Our edge servers stand in place of the cloud or physical server you use to run your site and house your site's content.

To serve content on your behalf, our edge servers need to be able to talk to your server, so your server is called the origin server because that's where your content originates from. You'll create configurations in our various tools to tell our servers how they should handle requests that come in from end users. There's a lot you can do to improve your site's performance and reliability when using our products, but for now, we're going to talk about the basics of how our systems operate.

To serve traffic on the ​Akamai​ network, you need at least three things:

  1. An ARL/configuration file to tell our servers how to answer requests. Some configuration files are called properties.

  2. A content provider code (CP code) to tag your content as yours on our servers.

  3. An edge hostname so our servers can act as the content providers of your website.

You'll need other objects like an edge certificate to serve secure traffic, or other specialized objects that assist with some of our products. These objects, configuration files, CP codes, and edge hostnames live in what we call groups. Groups work kind of like a computer's folder system but with a few specific differences you can learn about here.