Castle works on a wide range of digital products: SaaS platforms, online communities and e-commerce / booking platforms. Often these products have international reach and need to offer good performance to users from all corners of the globe.
Making static websites load quickly is not a problem — all pages can be cached in a CDN and rendered from the nearest mirror — but for dynamic web apps which can't be cached efficiently this is a big challenge.
Improving dynamic web app performance may require dramatic changes to architecture (like switching to SPA
architecture to minimize the amount of dynamic data transferred) or changes in infrastructure (like setting up separate servers for different regions).
Recently we've used a simpler approach which still results in visible performance improvements. That's Railgun™
, a traffic compressor by Cloudflare, which speeds up data transfer from the origin servers to the CDN edge locations.
Without Railgun, Cloudflare works just like most other CDNs: it provides transparent caching proxies all around the world. Cacheable content is delivered from the nearest datacenter, but the dynamic content still has to be transmitted from the origin server(s) using standard TCP/IP and HTTP.