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am_jagusztyn
Community Member

CDN and Static vs Dynamic

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Hi Everyone,

A few questions:

What CDN does Canvas use? Is it Cloudfront? Is the content held on the Canvas platform static or dynamic?

Thank you in advance,

Ariel

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1 Solution

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James
Navigator

 @am_jagusztyn  

In most cases, Canvas is currently delivering static content like JavaScripts, CSS files, icons, and webfonts using CloudFront. Items that are not necessarily static but don't change often, like profile pictures, are delivered from AWS, but with an expiration so they cached for a certain time.

Dynamic content is not delivered through a CDN as that would be bad. These are delivered with a with a no-cache, no-store cache-control header. Canvas servers do cache some recent database objects to make them quicker to return a second time from the cache. If you reload a list of assignments,  you'll probably find that the reload was quicker than the original.

One thing you can do to check this is to open up the developer tools in your browser when you're on a Canvas page. It's often the F12 key. Then go to the Network tab and reload the page. Here's an example from a recent course page load.

303850_pastedImage_1.png

Where the size column actually has a size, it's delivered without caching and not from a CDN. If the size is "(from disk)" or "(from memory)", it's using a cached version and it's likely that it's coming from a CDN without the no-cache directive.

You can mouse over an element to see the full URL:

303890_pastedImage_2.png

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2 Replies
James
Navigator

 @am_jagusztyn  

In most cases, Canvas is currently delivering static content like JavaScripts, CSS files, icons, and webfonts using CloudFront. Items that are not necessarily static but don't change often, like profile pictures, are delivered from AWS, but with an expiration so they cached for a certain time.

Dynamic content is not delivered through a CDN as that would be bad. These are delivered with a with a no-cache, no-store cache-control header. Canvas servers do cache some recent database objects to make them quicker to return a second time from the cache. If you reload a list of assignments,  you'll probably find that the reload was quicker than the original.

One thing you can do to check this is to open up the developer tools in your browser when you're on a Canvas page. It's often the F12 key. Then go to the Network tab and reload the page. Here's an example from a recent course page load.

303850_pastedImage_1.png

Where the size column actually has a size, it's delivered without caching and not from a CDN. If the size is "(from disk)" or "(from memory)", it's using a cached version and it's likely that it's coming from a CDN without the no-cache directive.

You can mouse over an element to see the full URL:

303890_pastedImage_2.png

View solution in original post

Thanks, James! This is very useful. I appreciate your response.