GCP Cloud CDN is a content delivery network service by Google Cloud Platform, designed to deliver content with low latency and high performance to users worldwide.

By - Manish Kumar Barnwal
Updated on
August 21, 2023


What is Cloud CDN?

When a user requests content from a website or application, the request is directed to the nearest edge server in the Cloud CDN. The edge server checks if it has a cached copy of the requested content. If the content is cached, it is delivered directly to the user with reduced latency. In cases where the content is not cached, the edge server fetches it from the origin server, caches it locally, and then serves it to the user. Subsequent requests for the same content are then served from the edge server, further reducing response times.

GCP Cloud CDN automatically optimizes the delivery of both static and dynamic content, making it ideal for a wide range of applications, from websites to APIs and streaming content.

When to use GCP Cloud CDN?

GCP Cloud CDN is a valuable addition to various scenarios, especially for businesses with a global audience. Some common use cases for GCP Cloud CDN include:

  1. Faster Website Loading: Cloud CDN reduces the time it takes for web pages to load, contributing to an improved user experience and lower bounce rates.
  2. Scalable Content Delivery: Businesses experiencing high web traffic can leverage Cloud CDN to efficiently distribute content and handle spikes in demand.
  3. Content Streaming: Cloud CDN optimizes the delivery of videos and streaming content, ensuring smooth playback and reduced buffering.
  4. API Performance: APIs can benefit from Cloud CDN's low latency and high-performance content delivery, enhancing overall API response times.
  5. Global Application Reach: Cloud CDN ensures that content is delivered from the nearest edge server, regardless of the user's location, ensuring a consistent experience for users worldwide.

How does GCP Cloud CDN work?

GCP Cloud CDN, part of Google Cloud Platform's suite of services, is a global content delivery network that accelerates the delivery of websites, applications, and other content to end-users. It leverages Google's extensive network infrastructure, consisting of edge locations strategically distributed worldwide, to cache and serve content from the closest edge server to the user's location. This approach reduces latency and improves the overall performance of web applications, resulting in an exceptional user experience.

Features & Advantages

Features of GCP Cloud CDN

  • Global Edge Locations: Cloud CDN leverages Google's extensive network of edge locations, ensuring global coverage and reduced latency.
  • Real-Time Cache Invalidation: Cloud CDN supports real-time cache invalidation, allowing content updates to be delivered immediately to users.
  • Anycast Routing: Cloud CDN uses anycast routing to efficiently route traffic to the nearest edge server, improving response times.
  • Security and HTTPS Support: Cloud CDN provides built-in DDoS protection and supports HTTPS to ensure secure content delivery.
  • Integration with GCP Services: Cloud CDN seamlessly integrates with other Google Cloud Platform services, offering a unified cloud solution.

Advantages of GCP Cloud CDN

  • Improved User Experience: Faster content delivery leads to higher user satisfaction and increased engagement.
  • Global Scalability: Cloud CDN can efficiently handle traffic from users worldwide, ensuring consistent performance.
  • Reduced Server Load: By caching and serving content from edge locations, Cloud CDN offloads the origin server, reducing server load and infrastructure costs.
  • Enhanced Security: Cloud CDN includes DDoS protection and HTTPS support, enhancing the security of content delivery.
  • Real-Time Updates: Cloud CDN supports real-time cache invalidation, enabling immediate updates to content.


GCP Cloud CDN Pricing Factors

  • Data Transfer: The volume of data transferred from the origin server to the edge locations affects pricing.
  • Cache Hit Ratio: Pricing may be influenced by the percentage of cached content requests (cache hit ratio).

Is GCP Cloud CDN Free or Paid?

GCP Cloud CDN is a paid service, and the pricing structure depends on usage and other factors.

GCP Cloud CDN Pricing Tiers

GCP may offer multiple pricing tiers, allowing users to select the one that aligns with their specific needs and budget. Cloud CDN offers a transparent and flexible pricing structure that takes into account various factors, including cacheable content, cache hit/miss, cache egress, cache fill, and HTTP/HTTPS cache lookup requests. The pricing is designed to provide cost-effective content delivery solutions for a wide range of use cases.

Cache Egress: Cache egress charges are applicable when Cloud CDN serves cached content to users. The charges vary based on the destination and your monthly usage. The monthly usage is calculated per project per destination, where the destination is determined by the client's IP address. The cache egress prices are as follows:

  • Asia Pacific (including Hong Kong):
  • < 10 TiB: $0.09 per GiB
  • 10 TiB-150 TiB: $0.06 per GiB
  • 150 TiB-500 TiB: $0.05 per GiB
  • North America (including Hawaii):
  • $0.08 per GiB
  • $0.055 per GiB
  • $0.03 per GiB
  • All other destinations (including Mexico, Central America, and Middle East):
  • $0.09 per GiB
  • $0.06 per GiB
  • $0.05 per GiB
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Cache Fill: Cache fill charges represent the data required to populate Cloud CDN's caches. Charges vary based on the source and destination of the content. The cache fill prices are as follows:

  • Within North America or Europe (including Hawaii): $0.01 per GiB
  • Within each of Asia Pacific, South America, Middle East, Africa, and Oceania (including Hong Kong): $0.02 per GiB
  • Inter-region cache fill (e.g., between Asia Pacific and North America): $0.04 per GiB

HTTP/HTTPS Cache Lookup Requests: Cache lookup requests occur when Cloud CDN serves cached content. The GET and HEAD HTTP methods cause cache lookups, while other methods like POST and PUT do not. The price for cache lookup requests is $0.0075 per 10,000 requests.

Requests Sent from Cloud CDN to External Backends: For requests sent from Cloud CDN to external backends, standard Compute Engine internet egress rates apply.

Pricing Example:

A simple usage scenario for Cloud CDN is shown below:

Pricing category Type of usage Amount Cache egress in North America 500 GiB Cache fill Data transfer to Cloud CDN caches 25 GiB Cache lookup requests GET and HEAD HTTP methods 5,000,000 operations

Bill Calculation:

  • Cache egress: 500 GiB cache egress * $0.08 per GiB = $40.00
  • Cache fill: 25 GiB fill * $0.01 per GiB = $0.25
  • Cache lookup requests: 5,000,000 operations * $0.0075 per 10,000 operations = $3.75

Total Cost: ~$44.00

Cost Optimization

How to Optimize Cloud CDN Costs?

Cost optimization is essential to ensure efficient resource utilization and minimize expenses while delivering content through GCP Cloud CDN. Here are some key strategies to optimize costs while utilizing Cloud CDN:

  1. Cache Control and Cache Invalidation: Effectively managing cache control headers and cache invalidation policies can significantly reduce cache misses and the need for frequent cache fills. By setting appropriate cache expiration times and handling cache invalidation efficiently, you can reduce the volume of origin requests, thereby lowering costs associated with cache fills and data transfer.
  2. Smart Caching Policies: Implementing smart caching policies is crucial to prioritize and cache content that experiences higher user demand. Identify the most popular and frequently accessed content and prioritize caching for such resources. Additionally, ensure that cache rules are aligned with your content update frequency to avoid caching content that changes frequently, leading to unnecessary cache evictions and refills.
  3. Use of CDN Prefetching: CDN prefetching can help improve cache hit rates by proactively fetching and storing content in the CDN caches before users request it. This approach can help reduce cache misses and subsequent requests to the origin server, resulting in cost savings associated with cache fills and data transfer.
  4. Content Compression: Enabling content compression reduces the size of data transmitted between Cloud CDN and end-users, resulting in lower data transfer costs. Compressing assets like images, videos, and text files before caching can effectively optimize costs and improve content delivery performance.
  5. HTTP/HTTPS Cache Lookup Optimization: Minimizing HTTP/HTTPS cache lookup requests by optimizing the use of cacheable HTTP methods (e.g., GET and HEAD) can lead to cost reductions. Limit the use of non-cacheable HTTP methods (e.g., POST and PUT) to avoid unnecessary cache lookups and associated costs.
  6. Geographic Traffic Routing: Optimizing geographic traffic routing can help reduce cache egress costs. You can direct traffic to specific cache locations closer to the users' geographic regions, minimizing data transfer across regions and, in turn, reducing cache egress charges.

Key Points to Remember

  1. Cloud CDN serves cacheable content at cache egress costs, while cache misses may incur additional cache fill and applicable Cloud Load Balancing or Cloud Storage charges.
  2. Cache egress and fill are calculated in gibibytes (GiB).
  3. Different regions have varying cache egress prices based on monthly usage.
  4. Cache lookup requests, such as GET and HEAD HTTP methods, cause cache lookups and are charged at a specific rate per 10,000 requests.
  5. Regularly review billing and usage data on your project's billing page to optimize resource utilization.
  6. Choose the appropriate pricing tier based on your content delivery requirements and budget.

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