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Google Cloud CDN is about to become much better at optimizing performance and cost

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Content delivery networks (CDN) are a critical part of getting frequently used content to users quickly and cost-effectively which is why Google Cloud has unveiled new, more flexible controls for Cloud CDN in preview.

The company is now rolling out three new features in preview that will allow users to enable Cloud CDN as part of their HTTP(S) Load Balancer and make it possible to start caching content with just one click.

The first is a new concept called cache modes that allows the CDN to automatically cache common static content types without further origin configuration. Next up is the ability to set and/or override cache TTLs (“time to live”, or “expiration”) so that users can fine tune how long Cloud CDN caches their responses, when Google revalidates expired objects in its caches and define client-facing TTLs in order to make the most of browser caches.

Finally, Google Cloud is bringing custom response headers to Cloud CDN which allows users to reflect the cache status to their clients, geographic data and/or their own static response headers such as Cross-Origin Resource Sharing (CORS) policies or web security headers when serving a page from Cloud Storage or Compute Engine.

Using Cloud CDN's new features

All customers can begin testing out these new features and to do so, they can use either the Google Cloud Console or the gcloud SDK on their existing Cloud CDN-enabled backends.

For users that already have a backend with Cloud CDN enabled, they can turn on the new “Cache All Static” cache mode which automatically caches common static content types and fine tunes the TTLs used to determine cache lifetime and behavior. Backends that enable Cloud CDN via the Google Console now default to caching all static content, so users can just check a box to take advantage of Google's global network of caches.

Customers using the company's Cloud Storage backends can also now use custom response header features to set both static and dynamic response headers.

In order to use all of these new features though, customers will have to be using  the beta channel as well as gcloud version 309.0.0 or greater.