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Cloudflare Integration

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3 comments

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    AmeriCommerce Developer

    Using Cloudflare with the built-in resizer would be moot because the files all have to be double served. First downloaded from the cdn to resize, then served from our servers which in effect would lose all benefit of the cdn.

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    Brian Gluck

    We are working on a custom CDN for AmeriCommerce right now. Hit us up on the contact form @ www.internetheads.com for more info.

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    Jason

    What is your reason for using CloudFlare?

    The service can be leveraged to achieve drastically different goals. While increasing overall site security is one, many people incorrectly assume the 'CDN' portion works like others (MaxCDN, Amazon CloudFront) with Push and Origin Pull options. This is an incorrect assumption.

    CloudFlare works best if you understand it as a DNS provider first, with some CDN-like characteristics. First, ALL content referenced for each CloudFlare DNS hosted domain/URL can be (depending on your selected options and goals) secured and served MUCH faster to each site visitor than if using a single server, thanks to CloudFlare caching the ENTIRE content of the DNS hosted URL. This includes static resources such as javascript, css and images. Where is it differs from traditional CDN services is the HTML is also cached across ALL CloudFlare servers. This can drastically decrease page load times as the content is served to the site visitor from the CloudFlare server closest to them. This also allows a website to appear online, serving content to visitors, even while the origin server (AmeriCommerce/Rackspace) is down.

    In the case of AmeriCommerce, if your store has customers shopping online from Spokane, WA your content is served from a single Rackspace server location.
    With CloudFlare enabled across your domains, the content is cached and served to the customer from Seattle, WA cutting down on the time it takes to serve content.

    View the network map here: https://www.cloudflare.com/network-map

    A common example configuration is typically something like this:

    • Primary store domain (storedomain.com): CloudFlare enabled, securing site while serving cached HTML to site visitors via CloudFlare DNS

    • Secondary static resource domains (cdn.storedomain.com, cdn2.storedomain.com, cdn3.storedomain.com, etc...): CNAME pointed to a proper CDN service utilizing Push or Origin Pull (depending on provider) to cache and host image files, CSS, and javascript across the globe for even faster site load times.
      MaxCDN network map: http://www.maxcdn.com/network/
      ~ Ideally, this is where an integration between AmeriCommerce and true CDN providers happen. The AmeriCommerce image resizer would continue handling its grunt work, followed by Pushing the image file to a CDN service, like MaxCDN or CloudFront. The AmeriCommerce dashboard would include a CDN settings page allowing for provider selection and setup to include relevant API keys and other necessary integration settings.

    • Read more about Push and Origin PULL: http://www.whoishostingthis.com/blog/2010/06/30/cdns-push-vs-pull/

    The end result?
    Using the above example, your entire site is cached and served from Seattle, WA to your site visitor in Spokane, WA, while not once hitting the AmeriCommerce data center hosted by Rackspace.

    Keep in mind, there will be a lot of custom settings and testing needed beforehand to optimize correctly. There will also be times when the visitor DOES hit the AmeriCommerce server, such as the shopping cart and account management pages. These instances are all managed via custom rules within the CloudFlare control panel.

    Good luck to you!

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