Keeping Content "Just a Hop Away" with Anycast DNS and Edge VMs

Key takeaways

BunnyCDN simplified and optimized DNS for its content delivery network by building out an Anycast DNS solution with StackPath’s edge VMs.

  • Moved from managing multiple DNS configurations with multiple partners to managing one configuration with a single partner
  • Improved average DNS response times by 5-10% to increase the speed of its CDN

Situation

Anycast management weighs down small team

BunnyCDN was created and is maintained by a small, passionate team of individuals. Their dream was to build a cost-effective, lightning-fast content delivery solution, all while maintaining enterprise-level security and stability—and they succeeded. However, maintaining Anycast DNS was too much of a strain and took time away from development.

Anycast DNS is a vital component to BunnyCDN’s speed. It allows content to be stored in multiple locations worldwide, but each location can respond to the same IP address. This allows for low-latency DNS resolution and also points users towards the content storage location which is geographically closest to them, ultimately minimizing latency and maximizing performance.

Objective

Provide low-cost, high-performance content delivery

“Our biggest challenge was that we don’t actually control the network, so we have to monitor everything all the time because cloud providers often make changes to their network configurations,” said Dejan Grofelnik Pelzel, founder of BunnyCDN. “That means somebody has to keep a watch on our network routing and then adjust and test as needed. It can get really intensive time-wise and can quickly go wrong if unchecked.”

Time spent monitoring, adjusting, and testing configuration settings was time not spent developing new features for BunnyCDN. Because of this, the team was unable to pursue their mission in an agile manner. This is when they started looking at services like StackPath that could give them more control by allowing them to build out their own Anycast DNS solution with virtual machines.

Approach

Use StackPath’s virtual machines to run Anycast DNS

Using edge VMs from StackPath solved two issues for BunnyCDN: 1) working with different network configurations through different partners and 2) making DNS resolution as fast as possible.

By using StackPath’s edge VMs for DNS, Dejan and his team were able to stop worrying about the disparate partners and configurations and focus on optimizing their CDN. They were also able to confidently deliver the fastest DNS resolution times as StackPath VMs are strategically located in city hubs that are close to Internet Exchange Points (IXPs).

Results

Faster content delivery and more time spent on development

BunnyCDN experienced a 5-10% improvement in the average latency of its DNS after building an Anycast DNS solution with StackPath’s virtual machines. In general this is not a big number but it’s significant for a CDN provider that delivers a service that’s primarily judged in terms of milliseconds.

In addition to improving network performance, BunnyCDN has used the DevOps time it regained from managing disparate DNS configurations and partners to launch a new PoP in Australia and improve its Edge Rules feature.

“StackPath delivers awesome performance with its Anycast. We were really pleased with that when we released the virtual machines on the edge.”

Dejan Grofelnik Pelzel • Founder @ BunnyCDN

Company Description

BunnyCDN is a content delivery network that was created with the goal of providing low-cost, high-performance content delivery with enterprise-level security.

Industry

Software & Technology

Use Case

DNS resolution and Anycast DNS

Products

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