This is part two of our Five Advanced CDN Configurations for the Serious User blog series.

To improve application performance, you can use technologies to shield your CDN origin using a mid-tier cache and origin shielding. This effectively delivers your content by replicating it and storing it on the edge servers closest to your customers. However, keeping all of your content on the edge isn’t always efficient. Using mid-tier caching, you set rules to determine when to shield your origin from new requests.

If some of your content does not get requested in certain regions, rather than expiring it off the cache altogether, it can be preserved at the mid-tier to be reactivated on demand. Be sure to find the PoPs (points of presence) most effective for your mid-tier, based on your origin locations.

In addition to the performance benefits of using the mid-tier cache, you’ll also gain efficiency at your origin. By protecting your origin server from redundant and unnecessary requests, you’ll relieve pressure on your infrastructure.


The chart below takes a look at HTTP ingest bandwidth (measured in Mbps) and the impact of utilizing Origin Shielding. The graph shows a 28-day glance at bandwidth for this site. Notice the up and down spikes for most of the month.

Then take a look at the last seven days after this website started shielding its origin. This is a clear representation of the increased ingest performance gained from using Origin Shielding.

Improve Ingest Performance


The next graph below compares HTTP ingest requests to HTTP bandwidth. This website needed better origin performance for the considerable amount of user generated content (UGC) it produces. They also were having trouble with CDNs reingesting content often. They asked Highwinds to help improve origin performance at the mid-tier cache level.

The chart speaks for itself. The site increased cache retention and reduced costs significantly.

Increase Cache Retention

The next chart illustrates gigabytes cached on the edge vs. HTTP bandwidth. This shows how HTTP cache retention is increasing while bandwidth remains the same after origin shielding has been enabled.

Increase Cache Retention

Five Advanced CDN Configurations for the Serious User