One of the ways that Highwinds helps protect your origin servers from an overload of requests from multiple points of presence is by offering Origin Shielding.

Origin Shielding is a service that aggregates the CDN requests for content from the customer origin to a single Highwinds point of presence (PoP) and a secondary PoP that is used for fallback or failover. Origin shielding reduces the load on your origin by routing all origin pull requests through a specific data center  “shield” (usually closest to your origin) on the network instead of having multiple data centers across the network request the same file from the origin.

Highwinds CDN Network Map

How does shielding protect your “Origin”?
The benefit of this service is that the customer origin will receive a lower volume of requests for content from the CDN as the aggregation process automatically de-duplicates identical requests and serves the content out of the CDN cache. With Origin Shielding enabled, only one edge in the primary “shield” PoP will hit the customer’s origin for that content. With Origin Shielding enabled, the CDN will make a request for content from a customer’s origin server only when the shield PoP does not have the content being requested. This causes less load, hits, and bandwidth used from your origin.

Even better, Origin shielding can save clients significantly on origin egress costs.

Configuring the “Shield PoP”
Origin Shielding can currently be configured by a Highwinds Admin user within an Origin Pull Policy configuration. We have developed tools like Barometer that let you test network performance from a given Highwinds point of presence (PoP) to your origin. This allows us to configure an origin shield to the most performant PoP for your origin.

Origin Shielding Barometer

The advantage that Highwinds offers is that only one PoP that is designated as the shield on our network makes a request back to the origin server, thereby shielding the origin from multiple requests for the same piece of content from multiple locations.

Sabina Zafar

By Sabina Zafar, Director, West Coast Solutions Architect, Highwinds