Traditionally, content delivery networks (CDNs) were used to cache files closer to users, allowing media publishers to deliver video and game software to customers as quickly as possible, and allowing top-tier web application providers to deliver websites at equally fast speeds.
Ultimately, application and content owners are realizing that these networks are used beyond caching to make digital experiences better, safer, more personalized and profitable. The market has responded to the evolution of CDNs with edge platforms that can handle compute and data workloads that have historically been the domain of data centers and clouds. Edge platforms are now a fundamental part of every consumer-facing business digital stack.
How does this evolution from a traditional CDN to an Edge platform help improve businesses and consumer experiences?
Advantage 1: General security protection
With the proliferation of on-premises, cloud and SaaS systems, technology leaders are struggling to protect an increasingly diverse and expanding attack surface environment from bad actors. Additionally, leaders often compensate by implementing a chain of security solutions, creating single points of failure and adding latency and performance bottlenecks between security layers. The average website generates 65-70 requests on both mobile and desktop, and performance is adversely affected as latency accumulates on each page.
The nature of modern applications spread across multiple clouds, data centers and SaaS tools means that traditional security perimeters are no longer practical. To ensure comprehensive protection, organizations must adopt an edge-enabled solution that can exist in all of these environments, otherwise routing all traffic through a central office VPN would result in unwanted latency and network overhead.
By moving security to the edge – in front of cloud providers, application and storage servers – your infrastructure and data are protected wherever they are.
Benefit 2: Faster and AI-based personalization of the consumer experience
In general, the closer you put the computer to the user, the faster your application will be. Edge computing allows companies to push components of web applications to the edge of the network and even to the consumer device, speeding up page loads on web and mobile devices.
Doing so requires intelligent predictive analytics, which anticipates what actions, information or content the consumer will want next and pushes that information to a browser or mobile device in anticipation of that request. This effectively makes websites and mobile screens load instantly.
In addition to speed, the edge can be an ideal layer to implement personalization powered by first-party data or AI algorithms. Organizations can use their end users’ preferences, keyword searches, and geographic knowledge to display relevant products to consumers in real time.
Advantage 3: Reduced cost
About 75% of executives see edge computing as a strategic investment, in part because of the lower cost of bandwidth. Edge computing allows local data centers to crunch their own data instead of sending it to a central data center or cloud. By local processing, the amount of data transmitted in the network is greatly reduced, which reduces bandwidth and connectivity.
Remote servers or data centers operate independently without interruption or connection to a central data center. Eliminating dependence on a centralized network allows digital businesses to be more accessible and efficient in ever-changing markets.
Realizing real cost savings from edge to edge requires a balanced approach. Sometimes, it is more efficient to compute and cache workloads in the cloud to multiple edge nodes rather than having all nodes execute redundant tasks. That’s why it’s important to use a universal application platform like Edgio’s that lets you intelligently leverage the power of the cloud and edge for maximum performance and cost optimization.
Edge platforms are taking market share from traditional CDN and cloud providers for their broader use cases and advanced capabilities. Businesses are improving their security postures, performance and consumer experiences while reducing overall costs with edge computing and AI capabilities, real-time responses and workload migration.
Edgio is a global edge network with an integrated developer-friendly platform designed to deliver high performance and protection for digital content, increasing overall revenue and business value.