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May 24, 2022

Drive your digital transformation story with Functions@Edge

By Atul Modi, Group Product Manager for Edge Computing at Edgecast

Easy access to reliable last-mile connectivity paired with ever-increasing internet speeds has enabled technology to create things beyond our imaginations. However, this impressive innovation has spotlighted the limitations of existing systems. From being a nice-to-have luxury in the past, edge computing is becoming an essential part of every organization’s strategy for addressing system limitations. Edge computing is propelling businesses into the future to meet rapidly evolving consumer demands. To help our customers get started with edge computing, we’re delighted to announce the limited availability release and special introductory offer for our Functions@Edge product. More details to follow later in this article.

5 key drivers for edge computing

A number of factors are driving demand for edge computing, including: 

  1. Latency: Digital transformation is driving the need for organizations to move their modern applications to the edge for ultra-fast response times. Consumer expectations for a fast and consistent experience at a global scale have spawned the need to build solutions as physically close to users as possible.
  1. Data proliferation: Data is ubiquitous and growing exponentially. Processing data generated from every connected device in every corner of the world needs scalable computing. Separating noise from signal and augmenting data with personalized information requires processing close to the data source for optimal scale and cost.
  1. Privacy/Security: Consumers want to feel safe whenever they go online. They expect their information to be kept personal and confidential. Countries are protecting consumers by enacting regulations and laws that require localization of data handling and processing.
  1. Compute offload: Low-powered sensors and IoT devices need to use energy optimally to be cost-effective. Dividing compute workload between the client device and the edge can help achieve the right economics.
  2. Autonomy: A centralized infrastructure can become a bottleneck and a single point of failure. Customers expect that processing goes on with no downtime or performance degradation for web applications, thereby driving the need for distributed computing where one server takes over if another fails.

Serverless Edge Computing – Functions@Edge

Edge computing services and platforms are manifesting themselves in multiple forms today – from Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) to Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) to Software-as-a-Service (SaaS). One of the most prominent forms of edge computing is Serverless Functions-as-a-Service (FaaS). Gartner has forecasted that over 50% of global enterprises will have deployed serverless FaaS by 2026, up from less than 25% today.¹ Over 25% of serverless functions will run on the edge, up from less than 5% today.² Serverless functions provide organizations a way to build and run applications and services without needing to manage the underlying infrastructure, thus enabling developers to focus on application design and development.

Functions@Edge, our serverless FaaS solution, empowers businesses to accelerate their digital transformation strategies by running high-performance, scalable, reliable applications close to their consumers. Organizations can now leverage the immense power of our modern edge computing platform built on our globally distributed infrastructure to bring exciting and unique experiences to their consumers worldwide. 

What makes us different?

Our global edge infrastructure

The Edgecast network spans 6 continents with strategically distributed PoP locations and more than 7,000 Interconnects. We’re continually expanding our network to be physically close to consumers to meet their expectations for consistently great online experiences. Our Functions@Edge product enables businesses to focus on solving their consumers’ problems while minimizing the costs associated with owning and operating the infrastructure needed to support it. The functions run at the CDN Edge (10 - 25ms latency), which provides an optimal location to run applications and workloads closer to end users while balancing costs and providing high reliability. We deploy your functions globally to all our edge compute PoP locations and automatically scale them vertically and horizontally to meet traffic needs.³

Secure JavaScript runtime

Functions@Edge supports JavaScript, the most popular scripting language in the world. The functions run on Deno, a secure V8-based runtime environment. Besides the security that Chrome’s V8 runtime engine provides out of the box, Deno has taken additional measures to ensure that functions are secure by default. Plus, we’ve added enhancements to ensure adequate security and isolation for your applications.

Ease of use

We kept developers and DevOps teams top of mind as we designed Functions@Edge, and provided a very simple and easy-to-use command-line interface: EdgeCLI. Functions@Edge CLI can be used to build, manage, deploy and run the functions with simple commands at your fingertips. Your Agile development teams can initialize, test and deploy your applications in just 3 simple steps. From performing rapid testing using our sandbox capabilities to using the log retrieval functionality for easy debugging and troubleshooting, EdgeCLI has you covered. Furthermore, we provide a Functions@Edge GUI in our customer portal to easily manage and monitor your application’s status, performance and usage across the globe.

Functions as Serverless Origins

Functions@Edge integrates well with our delivery and security products. Functions can be used as serverless origins with our CDN, allowing you to cache responses for additional performance, scale and cost savings. Additionally, you get all the security features and benefits that our CDN provides, including our industry-leading WAF capabilities to keep your applications from being exposed.

Bundling static assets and Fetching resources

Functions@Edge can be used to create simple and highly complex applications. You can import supported third-party libraries or make resource fetch calls to third-party endpoints and combine responses from multiple backend microservices and databases in your functions. You can also bundle additional non-executable static files such as JSON, CSV, HTML, JPEG, and more with your functions to build high-value applications. 

What can you build with Functions@Edge?

The list of use cases for edge computing is never-ending. Broadly, we like to think about these in two categories:

  1. Optimization of existing applications
  2. Creation of new futuristic applications

Some common use cases that edge computing at the CDN Edge is helping with today include:

  • A/B testing
  • Dynamic content generation
  • Content personalization
  • Augmented reality object recognition
  • Data processing and enrichment
  • Image optimization 
  • Video manifest manipulation
  • Shopper prioritization
  • API orchestration
  • URL redirects and rewrites

Do you want to explore any of the cases mentioned above? Have a unique idea on how your business can benefit from Functions@Edge? Let’s connect today. With Functions@Edge you only pay for what you use. Also, we have a free tier providing up to 100K (1M for the introductory period) free requests and seconds to enable you to experiment and build proof-of-concept applications before you spend a dime. If you’re resource-constrained, we can help you get started with some of our pre-built applications deployed at the edge. To read about our Edge Applications, please visit our blog here. Additionally, our expert service and support engineers are available 24/7 to assist you with quick mitigation of any risks or incidents. We offer flexible support tiers, including streamlined processes and professional help to onboard you onto Functions@Edge.

Conclusion

Consumer demand for fast, secure, reliable applications has rendered Functions@Edge a key piece of our customers’ strategy to make their ideas a reality. Functions@Edge ease of use, security, numerous capabilities and global reach help our customers build freely at the edge. We’re creating a comprehensive edge computing ecosystem and unlocking its full potential to redefine what is possible. Here’s how you can join us on this journey.

Limited time introductory offer

We’re offering up to 1 million Functions@Edge requests and up to 1 million seconds free per month for the next 3 months.⁴ Contact us today to get started. To learn more about all the abilities of Functions@Edge please refer to our Help Center.

¹⁻² Chandrasekaran, Arun, 1 June 2021. "Containers, Serverless – Which to use when?" Gartner.com.

³ Edge compute PoP locations are a subset of our global PoP locations, which we are rapidly expanding to all our global PoP locations. Please contact us to learn more.

⁴ Offer expires August 31, 2022. Offer not available to customers of resellers or to customers who sign up via Edgecast's Self Serve Trial workflow. Customers who take advantage of a commit-based model will be provided with a separate, but similar incentive.

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