What’s in a CNAME?

Team Teridion

Adopting the Teridion service is among the easiest things to do, regardless of existing infrastructure.

As an example, let’s say you want to access data from a web server. The first thing you do is enter a domain name into your browser URL window: example.com. From there, your browser will query the Domain Name System (DNS) to get a destination IP—like asking for an address to put on an envelope to a final destination. From there, your request will travel from your browser, bouncing from one edge router to another on the cheapest path possible, until you arrive at your destination.

Even if you are travelling a relatively short distance, from one city to another, your request will inevitably touch many routers (see below), and your data can still take a long time to arrive back to you. Even though the internet can move at the speed of light, it rarely does.

You eventually arrive at example.com and want to upload a document, so you click on the “upload” link. Instead of uploading a file to example.com, you actually upload files to: ul6.example.com—the load balancer of the site you are attempting to access. You probably won’t see this, but your DNS has performed a CNAME change behind the scenes. It happens all the time, and makes the end user experience easier and better, since you don’t have to remember so many names, and IP’s.

When you decide you’ve had enough of regular Internet, and are ready for something better, all it takes is a CNAME change in your DNS and you’ll be riding the Teridion network to your destination.

Teridion’s management system (TMS) is synced with DNS to provide redundancy and an additional layer of monitoring. Using the example from above, you navigate to example.com, click the upload button, and instead of your DNS resolving you to ul.example.com, you are directed to upload-example.teridions.net. Both the Teridion Cloud Router (TCR) in and TCR out know the destination and are able to route your traffic more efficiently.

And just like that you are riding on the Teridion network. Instead of travelling over the regular Internet, bouncing from one router to another on a throttled 4Mbps connection, you are now smoothly sailing on a pipe that is hundreds of times larger.

No Hardware

Since Teridion works behind the scenes with DNS, there are no hardware appliances that need to be installed on your premises. We are not in the hardware game, nor do we want to be. The Internet is changing from what used to be a static content model to a dynamic, personalized experience, from a hardware-centric world to one based on software.

Hardware that lives on premises in a data center keeps true to the old way of thinking. Most Internet users long ago only accessed the Internet to send emails and files from their office, and would then travel home to maybe use the Internet there.

In the past few years, as more users went mobile, hardware vendors have struggled to keep up. They can’t expect people to carry around another piece of equipment with them, so ultimately, hardware based performance suffered.

No Software

Following a similar trajectory as hardware, software acceleration has found it difficult to keep up with the new dynamic Internet experience. Adding complexity to applications makes it nearly impossible to build reliable acceleration software. Involving compliance, regulatory requirements, and constant software updates inevitably creates more headaches than relieves them. Not to mention the irritating software updates that eat up bandwidth and sometimes wreak havoc on operating systems.

Eliminating the human error is how we enable rapid and consistent Internet delivery. Teridion is the answer for today’s Internet—no hardware, no software, no tricks. We operate on the network layer and thus are able to serve any traffic, anywhere, anytime. Using global DNS, we work behind the scenes, and all it takes is a simple CNAME change.


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