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Dyn Research: CDN Adoption By The Numbers

Content delivery network (CDN) deployments are surging as organizations from web and Fortune 1000 enterprises down to startups and SMBs, connect with customers and derive more revenue from the web.

Since CDNs are such an essential component to many Dyn customers’ web architectures, we recently researched CDN adoption trends across a range of markets. Working with our market intelligence partner Datanyze, we found large growth in CDN adoption across a spectrum of markets, with the types of CDN providers used varying from market to market.

Alexa 1000

As of June 2014, more than 50% of the Alexa 1000 websites use a CDN. Among Dyn customers ranked in the Alexa 1000, this adoption rates are even higher — coming in close to 80%.

Alexa 1000 Websites Using CDNs
This indicates that CDN technology is now a basic underlying infrastructure component for high-performance websites. There is also a high correlation between CDN deployments and managed DNS; more than one quarter of the Alexa 1000 uses CDN and DNS services and among all Alexa 1000 web sites using managed DNS, 77% also use a CDN.

Alexa 1000 CDN Market Share

Comparing these two adoption trends, we see that Dyn customers are open to a more diverse set of strategic CDN partners than the overall Alexa 1000. It’s also worth noting that 1 in 8 Dyn DNS customers with a CDN are using more than one CDN provider.
CDNs Used and Deployed

Alexa 10,000 & 100,000

More than two-thirds (35%) of Alexa 10,000-ranked websites are using a CDN. This is up from approximately 30% in this category, since we last wrote about this topic a blog post last July. Still, this indicates that more websites in general — not just the “web giant” domains — are looking to CDNs to improve user experience on their websites.

In the Alexa 100,000 range, the total number of sites using CDNs drops to 17% — an increase of 2% in this group from 9 months ago. Here, the landscape changes dramatically in terms of which vendors are most deployed; Akamai still leads, but only by a slight margin over Amazon, which gained 1.1% share since last July.

Eliminating sites ranked 1 to 10,000 from the analysis creates a slightly different market landscape, with an interesting wrinkle: Amazon eeks out Akamai as the most deployed CDN among this Alexa rank grouping.

Alexa Top CDNs

CDNs By Region

At a regional level, a large majority of websites ranked in the Alexa 1000 and 10,000 with a CDN deployed are based in North America: 63% and 64% in each market group, respectively. In the Alexa 1000, APAC is second with 19%, and EMEA is third at 16%, indicating that more and more web companies in countries such as China, South Korea and India, as well as Japan and Australia, are using CDNs to power their large websites.

It’s interesting to note that in the Alexa 10,000, however, APAC and EMEA trade places at almost identical adoption rates: EMEA is number 2 behind North America with 20% of CDN deployments; APAC is number 3 with 15% of deployments.
CDN Adoption


What’s behind the dramatic jump in CDN usage? Clearly, Dyn customers that run some of the most frequently visited websites in the world care deeply about performance and availability. Think of it as a “belt-and-suspenders” approach to uptime (substituting “website” for “pants” in this context). In this approach, managed DNS provides faster availability and accessibility to the customers website, as well as faster delivery of objects.

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