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Getting started with ProCDN

  • Applies to: ProCDN

  • Difficulty: Medium

  • Time needed: 90 minutes

  • Tools needed: AccountCenter access, ProCDN service

 
  • Applies to: ProCDN
    • Difficulty: Medium
    • Time: 90
    • Tools needed: AccountCenter access, ProCDN service

READ ME FIRST

The following tutorial is provided as a courtesy to our customers to help you configure your ProCDN to work with (mt) Media Temple's hosting solutions. For an overview of what (mt) Media Temple will and will not support for the ProCDN product, please see our ProCDN support statement.

Overview

(mt) Media Temple's ProCDN allows you to serve content at lightning speed world-wide from servers in North America, Europe, Australia, and Asia.

What is a CDN?

CDN stands for Content Delivery Network. The purpose of the network is to improve loading times for your website, because the content can be pulled from a nearby server rather than one on the other side of the planet. The ProCDN is not a full hosting server. It works with your existing Grid, DV server, or (ve) Server to make your files more accessible.

Requirements

You must purchase the ProCDN service from (mt) Media Temple through your AccountCenter. See How do I purchase ProCDN? for instructions.

Once you have done this, you will be able to access the EdgeCast Control Panel.

Set up ProCDN

Setting up ProCDN is fairly straightforward. Here are the four basic steps:

  1. Create Customer Origin.
  2. Create Cname.
  3. Edit DNS zone file.
  4. Update your code.

Customer Origin

You will need to be logged into your EdgeCast Control Panel to create your Customer Origin. Customer Origin is a way for you to have your content dynamically loaded to the CDN upon request, with little to no intervention required on your part.

Here's how to create your Customer Origin:

  1. Log into the EdgeCast Control Panel. For more information, please see: How do I access the EdgeCast Control Panel?
  2. Decide whether you need a Large or Small Object Origin. Large is typically used for large downloads, and Small is used for websites. Learn more about the differences here.

    Now, click on the appropriate HTTP Large or HTTP Small in the tabs. See Figure 1:


    Figure 1. Click on the HTTP Large or HTTP Small tool.

  3. Click on the Customer Origin tab. See Figure 2:


    Figure 2. Click on Customer Origin.

  4. Fill in the information for your new Origin. See Figure 3:


    Figure 3. Fill in your directory name and hostname configuration.

    • (1) Directory Name: This is a new directory that you are creating on the CDN. It's the directory you will eventually use in your URLs when you are serving content from the ProCDN. It can be anything you want (no spaces or special characters). Please note that this directory does not correlate to a directory on your hosting service. The Directory Name is just used for organizational purposes, if you use the 'images' directory, you will still need to append another '/images' directory to the URL generated.
    • Hostname Configuration:
      • HTTP Edge Protocol: Leave this selected. This puts your content on the CDN.
      • (2) Hostname or IP Address: Here, enter the name or IP address of your host server. This is the server from which the CDN will pull static content. Click Add to add the server to your list. You can specify additional locations if you have mirrored your content and would like failover.
    • (3) HTTP Host Header: Enter the URL you would like to use. For example: gs-example.com is entered.
    • Leave all other fields with default settings, unless you have an advanced understanding of your configuration. HTTPS is not currently available.
    • Click the last Add button to complete the form.

TIP:

You may want to make a subdomain with a special version of your site that is optimized for caching, and use that as the source for your Origin. You would then add that subdomain in your Hostname or IP Address field.

That's it! You'll notice that both on the Customer Origin page, and the main HTTP Large or HTTP Small page, you will see a new URL for your Origin. See Figure 4:


Figure 4. Note your ProCDN URL for this content.

It should take about an hour for your changes to propagate through EdgeCast's system. After that, you will be able to use your new URL to access your content over the ProCDN. You can configure a prettier URL as well - see Create CNAME below.

TIP:

If you want to set up another site, feel free! Simply follow these steps again to configure another Customer Origin for another of your websites.

Upload content through the Media Manager

This allows you to upload your content to the ProCDN from your local computer, a few files at a time. For more information, please read: How do I upload content to my ProCDN?

Create CNAME

You can access your ProCDN content with a URL of your choosing by configuring a CNAME for one of your ProCDN URLs.

  1. Log into the EdgeCast Control Panel. For more information, please see: How do I access the EdgeCast Control Panel?
  2. Click on either HTTP Large or HTTP Small, wherever you originally configured the Origin.
  3. Click on the Edge Cnames tab. See Figure 5:


    Figure 5. Click on Edge Cnames.

  4. Fill in the form details. See Figure 6:


    Figure 6. Enter your desired CNAME and select Customer Origin and your folder.

    • New Edge Cname: This is your desired CNAME. It should be for a domain or subdomain you control and that you want to be publicly visible.
    • Select Customer Origin. You could also select EdgeCast Origin to set a CNAME for the Media Manager files.
    • Points To: Select the appropriate ProCDN directory from the dropdown menu. Add more to the directory path if needed.

Edit DNS zone file

Next, you will want to add the ProCDN cname you just created to your DNS zone file.

This will take about an hour to update on the ProCDN side. You will now need to create your CNAME in your zone file for that domain. It should point to the ProCDN URL you obtained when your set up your Origin.

Example:

  • HTTP Small Object:
    wac.<account#>.edgecastcdn.net
  • HTTP Large Object:
    wpc.<account#>.edgecastcdn.net

Please note that the account number is your EdgeCast account number, not your (mt) Media Temple account number. Once your DNS change has propagated, you should be able to access your ProCDN content through your CNAME. Please see this article: How can I change the DNS records for my domain?

Update your code

Using ProCDN with your website and applications

The Customer Origin setup is an extremely simple and maintenance-free way to use the ProCDN automatically. If you direct visitors to your ProCDN URL or CNAME, they will be able to interact with your site just the same as if they were visiting your host server directly. The ProCDN serves cached content for static files, and reaches back to the host server for any dynamic content that is needed. This is a mix-and-match approach as far as what content is being served from where, and it works well for those who simply want their site to load more quickly across the planet.

TIP:

  • If your CMS has an option to generate a static HTML version of your site, or to enable caching, enabling this will help the ProCDN to be able to cache more of your site. In fact, if your host server becomes unavailable, the cached version of your site will still be fully accessible over the ProCDN.
  • The default caching time for static content is 7 days. This means that when you upload a new version of a file on your origin server, it won't be immediately visible over the ProCDN. You can modify the HTTP headers of your original content to raise or lower the caching time as desired. SymKat has a great discussion of this.

It's also possible for your site to still be served primary from your host server, but for you to incorporate certain elements from the ProCDN. You will have to research more advanced configurations on your own, or discuss them in our forums. For information on how to join (mt) User Forums, please see: Join the (mt) User Forums.

Troubleshooting

For an overview of what (mt) Media Temple will and will not support for the ProCDN product, please see our Statement of Support.

 

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