NOC Introduces a CDN. Yes, a CDN. was built to be a networking platform that aggregates the various tools Daniel and I personally need, and use, to manage our own digital portfolios. It was built by network and system administrators for network and system administrators, so yes, we fully expect a more technical audience to appreciate it’s simplicity and application.

The NOC Foundation

In 2020 we released the platform with two key services we use daily – Authoritative DNS and Asset Monitoring. Via the The authoritative DNS would allow us to leverage smart routing options in the zone files to more proactively manage our traffic, while the asset monitoring would give us continuous visibility on the health of our global network of servers and web properties (it’s the same technology we use to manage our CleanBrowsing network with over 60 different points of presence around the world, serving billions of requests a day).

What made it especially special wasn’t that it told you if it was up, or down, but that we also introduced intelligence into the monitoring. Via the Auth-DNS smart routing, the monitoring platform could proactively identify, and self-heal, when there was degraded performance on the network (Automated Failover Detection and Recovery).

This last feature is critical to how we build global services, with minimal overhead. Automation is critical to this type of thinking, it also has the added benefit of reducing errors.

Tapping into the exponential power of Authoritative DNS also opened an entire world of possibilities for traffic management (concepts like geo-based routing and proximity routing). These introduced new levels of network control that we felt was more relevant to 99% of the web, than what is boasted about by existing CDN providers.

Introducing the NOC CDN

The very cool aspect of the Auth-DNS we built is the ability for any organization to build their own CDN. A network admin could easily leverage the smart routing options we’ve introduced into the zone files and create their own global CDN experience independent of third-parties.

To help demonstrate, we built it ourselves and introduced it as the next logical service on the platform.

Not only did it solve our own personal problems, but we felt it worked to solve the same problem we’ve been trying to tackle the past decade, but utilizing a more modern, eloquent, solution.

Starting over allowed us to look at the problem holistically. Things you can expect with our CDN:

Site Type SelectionWhen you first configure the DNS you’ll be asked to make a basic selection (e.g., WordPress, Drupal, etc..). This selection will help drive optimizations designed for your type of platform, and will serve to power future features. :)
CDN TypeBy default, most CDN’s are built on a singular anycast network. For some, the Free service is built on a watered down version of their whole network, while their paid customers will take full advantage of their entire network. In either case, the architecture is singular in nature.

Our deployment allows you to choose the type of CDN your platform needs. Do you need to optimize for US traffic? European traffic? Asian Traffic?
Default Security SettingsWe don’t wait for you to make the right, secure, setting choice. We do it for you, you can expect all traffic to be HTTPS by default, and all insecure requests will be upgraded by default.

We don’t touch cookie settings, those can cause all kinds of problems, but we provide you with an easy to enable it at the network level and how to disable things like FLoC by default.

We also realize that one of the primary reasons CMS based sites get hacked is for improper credential management, leading to credential stuffing attacks (brute force), and so by design we have Protected URLs as a way to choose which URLs should be protected from the public (the beginning of the security hardening you can expect in the future).
Performance & CachingWe support HTTP/2 and TLS/1.3 by default and the foundation caching types (respecting headers and full caching at the edge).

You will also have the option to choose which pages should not be cached for dynamically populated pages.

We focus on the key features that most web properties need. It’s the same technology we use for our own global assets, and figured it might be interesting to others. When you’re thinking of where this CDN fits, think AWS more than CloudFlare.

All the power, at the fraction of a cost. A core theme in everything we build. Give it a spin, and let us know what you think. What do you think is missing? And what could we improve?

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