Content Delivery Network
Microsoft CRM has a centralized SQL server infrastructure. As such, it is traditionally deployed at a single location with replication purely for disaster recovery. This deployment will work when end users are in an area with good connectivity to the CRM deployment. This however is not always the case, especially with large global deployments.
Traditional Global CRM Deployment
In a large global deployments there may be several users that don't have good connectivity to the CRM deployment and have a less than optimal experience with the application. Such users may be on inferior networks or be subject to bottlenecks as traffic traverses network connections to reach the CRM deployment. Overloaded or malfunctioning equipment may also cause traffic to be dropped compounding the situation as that traffic will need to be resent. This ultimately results in slower page load times, timeouts and a general loss of productivity and user adoption.
Content Delivery Network Deployment
A Content Delivery Network (CDN) resolves these problems using multiple technologies. The first is by creating a large managed network of servers dedicated to servicing CDN traffic. These servers are called Edge servers and are what the client communicates with. The CDN leveraged by xRM has over 216,000 servers deployed across 120 countries and 1,500 networks. This large network ensures that clients are able to connect to an Edge server that is significantly closer with minimal latency. Approximately 90% of all internet users are 1 hop away from an Edge server. The Edge servers then leverage the managed network to find the most optimal connection back to the origin CRM servers to return the content to the client machine. In most cases, we are able to provide twice the performance just with the introduction of the CDN.
In addition, to the large network, appropriate content is cached on the Edge servers, thus allowing the client to download the content without having to connect all the way back to the origin CRM servers. This reduces the traffic to the origin CRM servers and speeds up the delivery of such content.