For an SME company I want to use Cloudflare mainly in order to avoid DDoS attacks (caused by heavy crawling or malware bots).
I have some questions which couldn’t be answered in my first phone call with a sales representative:
What is the additional network delay in ms for accessing the website through Cloudflare? Will there be a noticeable delay for our website visitors?
Availability: if we choose PRO (or FREE) without 100% Uptime SLA, what does this mean in real life? Is it possible that our website won’t be available for 10min a week? Or what does this really mean? How high is the availability in FREE or PRO price plan?
Are there any customers in Switzerland that are officially worth mentioning as reference which route 100% of their traffic through Cloudflare?
What does the “Static Content Caching” mean? Where can i read about this? Can I configure this? E.g. “cache all JPG” images by including URL parameters as the identifying key, like 1.jpg?v=1 , so if 1.jpg?v=2 is requested, v=1 is not served but v=2 is fetched from real server.
At the most simple level, if content is cached, visitors should see a much enhanced performance as data is served from close to them. If not cached, then there may be a small (hopefully not noticeable) increase in latency as the request goes to the nearest Cloudflare data centre which then needs to reach out to your origin to get data. Cloudflare is in 300 cities so visitors should be served by one close by. Once on Cloudflare, you can adjust cache strategies, use Workers, Pages, R2, D1 and other features to get your content into Cloudflare’s network and close to your visitors to get a faster response and lower the load and traffic to your origin.
The SLA relates to how much monetary guarantee Cloudflare will give you in the event of a failure. If you are paying nothing, or nearly nothing, for the service on a free or pro account you shouldn’t expect to be paid when things break. If you pay multiples $1000s, $10Ks or $100Ks per month then you expect to be compensated for downtime. It doesn’t mean the service breaks more on lower tiers, but Enterprise users do have separate IP ranges that have higher priority when there’s congestion or issues.
Cloudflare Global Network | Data Center Locations
By definition, only static content can be cached. Anything dynamic needs to be redrawn and sent to the user on demand. As mentioned, you can mitigate this by pushing this to Cloudflare’s edge with Workers, D1, etc.
Lots of documentation, start here…
Thanks for the answers, highly appreciated! Let me tackle some again:
Of course everything is faster when cached, my question was: what is the delay if NOTHING gets cached. I have to think about the worst case when it comes to change infrastructure.
I see the references, but these are all US companies. I need Swiss references for our management board. Would help!
The internet is dynamic, it’s impossible to give a number. Best to set up a pair of test sites, one proxied using a Cloudflare free account and another without, and do some real world tests.
Nestle.com resolves to Cloudflare Enterprise IPs, but being a Swiss company isn’t really relevant, it’s to do with the location and connectivity available between the user, your origin servers and Cloudflare’s data centres and if they are in Switzerland or elsewhere. The link I sent you shows where they are.
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