Google shut down its free PageSpeed service last month and with that, it also stopped offering the easy to use content delivery network (CDN) service that was part of that tool. Unlike some of its competitors, Google doesn’t currently offer its own CDN service for developers who want to be able to host their static assets as close to their users as possible. Instead, the company now relies on partners like Fastly to offer CDN services.
Today, it’s taking these partnerships a step further with the launch of its CDN Interconnect. The company has partnered with CloudFlare, Fastly, Highwinds and Level 3 Communications to make it easier and cheaper for developers who run applications on its cloud service to work with one of these CDNs.
The interconnect is part of Google’s Cloud Interconnect Service that lets businesses buy network services that let them connect to Google over enterprise-grade connections or to directly peer with Google at its over 70 global edge locations.
Developers who use a CDN Interconnect partner to serve their content — and that’s mostly static assets like photos, music and video — are now eligible to pay a reduced rate for egress traffic to these CDN locations.
Google says the idea here is to “encourage the best practice of regularly distributing content originating from Cloud Platform out to the edge close to your end-users. Google provides a private, high-performance link between Cloud Platform and the CDN providers we work with, allowing your content to travel a low-latency, reliable route from our data centers out to your users.”
As Google rightly notes, the most popular web and mobile apps now often use large media assets to show their users high-res images and HD video for their 4k screens. Because of this, the average web page now weighs in at almost 2MB — a number that grew 15 percent in 2014 and will likely increase this year, as well. Images make up a large chunk of this, and if developers want to ensure their sites still load fast for their users around the world, using a CDN is really the only solution.
I’m still not sure why Google shuttered its PageSpeed Service, but it seems like this simply wasn’t a business the company wanted to be in. It’s worth noting that both Amazon’s AWS cloud (with CloudFront) and Microsoft Azure offer their own CDN services for developers on their platforms. It seems likely that Google will get back into the CDN game at some point, though, but for the time being it doesn’t have a solution in place and so it’s pointing potential users to its partners.