Using Other CDNs

This article is in reference to proxy services like CloudFlare, Sucuri, Fastly, and Section.io.

When using other proxy services you introduce routing complexities. A request to your store will first route through your proxy provider’s edge location. Then to the CloudFront edge location. Then to the AWS home region. Then we no longer control the full request flow. And we lose a significant amount of visibility and diagnostic ability into your store.

These services often have issues of their own. Either routing/request failures, or customer misconfigurations. Adding the additional proxy increases latency on every request to your store.

Customers occasionally ask us what about Varnish at the edge? We’re not fans of this. CloudFront CDN is already delivering the heavy static assets for your store. What is left is the html page request. Internet routing at it’s furthest distance (literally halfway around the world) is 250ms round trip. Varnish at the edge is delivering the tiny compressed html page. You might save maybe 250ms on your initial page load for the % of customers that are half way around the world. In exchange for this small savings you add:

  • additional latency for everyone you introduce
  • additional points of failure
  • another service you need to learn and support
  • you pay extra monthly fees.

If you would still like to use Cloudflare, you may use these instructions.