Back at the cPanel conference in October, WHIR TV had the opportunity to talk to Matthew Prince, CEO of content delivery network operator CloudFlare, about the ongoing development of the CloudFlare CDN, the company’s new Railgun technology, and its model for working with hosting providers.
During rapid scaling up of the CloudFlare CDN to its current total of 23 data centers around the world, says Prince, the company found that while it was building closer and closer to the end user, it was getting further away from the origin servers located on the networks of its hosting partners.
Rather than use any existing technologies to reduce that latency back to the origin server, he says, the company instead developed Railgun, a web traffic optimization technology it has since deployed on the CloudFlare CDN that re-writes the underlying protocols delivering the traffic to speed the connection.
In the summer, at HostingCon, CloudFlare announced improvements to the hosting provider partner program for the CloudFlare CDN (an important part of the business for the company), providing optimized hosting partner program members with access to the Railgun optimization technology.
As part of its efforts to provide a service to the hosting business, the CloudFlare CDN was expanded in July with several new support tiers.
Prince says CloudFlare now has more than 1,500 hosting partners, most of whom don’t treat the CloudFlare solution as a “product” they can sell to customers, but a performance tool that makes their services better, while reducing their costs by helping them get more out of their existing infrastructure.
Talk back: Have you tried distributing CloudFlare CDN services to your hosting customers? Are you interested in the performance improvements it might deliver? Are you interested in the kind of optimization Railgun can deliver? Are you using some alternative CDN services? Let us know in the comments.