20 Apr 2018

What is RailGun and learn about its Benefits

Most of you have heard about Cloudflare that it provides protection from DDoS attacks and speeds up your websites.  No Problem if you have no idea about Cloudflare.

Cloudflare which provides Content Delivery Network (CDN), DDoS mitigation, Domain Name System (DNS) Services and various other Internet Security Protocols. Cloudflare acts as a mediator between your server and the client which prevents various attacks to your server and keeps you on the safe side.

There is another feature or can be said as a valuable tool called

“Railgun”

by Cloudflare. Railgun ensures that the connection established between the Cloudflare server and your web server is as fast a possible without any delay.
Railgun basically compresses the uncacheable content on your web browser using Railgun listener daemon running and then transfers to Cloudflare Railgun Sender Server. Compression algorithms compress the web objects by 99.6% which reduces the transfer time to very low thus increases the performance.

Cloudflare’s Railgun is available to Cloudflare Business and Enterprise customers, as well as Optimized Partners. On a general note, it is said that only 66% of web content is cacheable and remaining 34% content cannot be cached and has to be obtained from the original web server and this fetching process creates some delays and websites load little slower. This can be explained using an example of website Times Now, where the homepage is updated every minute or every five to ten minutes with some news and updates. So it becomes uncacheable and has to be fetched from the origin server when Cloudflare is used which means delay. For this Cloudflare team found an intelligent solution called Railgun. Railgun creates a cache snapshot of web content and when some user requests the webpage then the snapshot is compared with the current state if webpage if it is updated or not. If a current webpage is same then the snapshot is sent to the user and, if changes have been made to the content then only the updates are sent in the compressed form and transferred at blazing fast speed and the snapshot is updated and the then updated snapshot is sent to the user. This mechanism looks complicated but it is much faster than the blink of an eye.

Railgun runs a single daemon on a 64-bit system which performs all above processes to speed up the website. It connects your web server and Cloudflare server using over HTTP through the proxy network. It uses smart compression techniques which help is reducing bandwidth consumption and speeding up website loading.

Some Benefits in key points :-

  • Reduces bandwidth
  • Reduces Overall Page load time
  • Reduces Transfer Time
  • Decreases load on the origin and well as Cloudflare Servers
  • Creates a secure connection with the origin server

We hope above provided information lightens up your knowledge about Cloudflare Railgun.