CTL Blog

The New Online Library: Distribution of Files via Amazon's Global Content Delivery Network

February 09, 2022 | 1 Minute Read

The Online Library is receiving an overhaul. If you haven't read the previous entries in this series about why these changes are being made and what's new in this new version, please do so.

When someone requested a file from the old version of the Online Library, that request was routed to the CoursePlus servers and the file was delivered from the BSPH data center in Baltimore. If you downloaded that file in Baltimore, the physical distance between you and the BSPH data center in Baltimore was negligible. If you downloaded that file in Tokyo, the physical distance did affect the overall download time for the file. Physical distance matters when it comes to downloading larger amounts of data. This issue is compounded when a ZIP file of every file in a lecture or class session or a ZIP file of the entire Online Library is downloaded. When you’re downloading gigabytes of data, physical distance slows things down.

This is one reason that all CTL-produced lectures in CoursePlus are delivered to students via a global content delivery network powered by Amazon. Amazon’s CloudFront network has over 340 points of presence around the globe. By moving files across Amazon’s extraordinarily fast private network to a location much closer to the individual student, file downloads are faster, more secure, and more reliable.

The new version of the Online Library utilizes Amazon’s CloudFront network to deliver both individual files and ZIP files from the Online Library. Downloads for most everyone will be faster as a result.

As we discuss all of the new features of the Online Library, please reach out to the CTL Help team if you have any questions!