Cloudflare's Argo Tiered Cache is a powerful tool for optimizing the performance of websites and applications. By leveraging the size and scale of Cloudflare's global network, Tiered Cache is able to increase cache hit ratios and reduce requests to customer origins. This results in faster page load times for end users, and reduced load on origin servers.
At a high level, Tiered Cache works by dividing Cloudflare's data centers into a hierarchy of lower-tier and upper-tier data centers. If a piece of content is not found in cache at the lower-tier data centers (which are typically closest to the end user), the lower-tier data center will check with an upper-tier data center to see if it has the content. If the upper-tier data center also does not have the content, it will then contact the origin server to retrieve the content. This hierarchical approach improves bandwidth efficiency by limiting the number of data centers that can request content from the origin server, thus reducing origin load and making websites more cost-effective to operate.
One of the key benefits of Tiered Cache is that it concentrates connections to origin servers so that they come from a small number of data centers, rather than the full set of network locations. This results in fewer open connections, which in turn reduces the use of server resources. This makes Tiered Cache a particularly useful tool for high-traffic websites and applications that need to scale to handle large numbers of concurrent users.
Another benefit of Tiered Cache is that it is available to users of all Cloudflare plans, including the free plan. However, for Enterprise users, any Tiered Cache option enabled takes precedence over the Bandwidth Alliance. For all other users, the Bandwidth Alliance takes precedence. Even though the Bandwidth Alliance is an available option, Tiered Cache can still be an important option to enable, as it can provide additional benefits in terms of performance and cost-effectiveness.
Overall, Cloudflare's Argo Tiered Cache is a valuable tool for website and application owners looking to improve performance, reduce origin load, and scale to handle large numbers of concurrent users. For more information on how to enable and configure Tiered Cache, refer to Cloudflare's documentation on the topic.