StackPath and Fastly launch offerings to connect CDNs to cloud

StackPath and Fastly launch offerings to connect CDNs to cloud

A pair of technology providers have launched tools to help developers efficiently build and manage edge and next-generation infrastructure leveraging content delivery networks (CDNs).

StackPath has released a new plug in for edge compute containers to help developers build, configure, and update infrastructure safely and efficiently with Terraform, according to a company blog post.

Terraform is an open-source tool for provisioning and managing a cloud, infrastructure, or service with infrastructure as code. Developers use it to create dependency graphs and simplify infrastructure updates, to support multi-provider orchestration or load-balanced environments, as well as automated snapshots and simplified rollbacks, and use its built-in modules to package configuration files and reuse them multiple times with a simple call module.

The infrastructure as code approach enabled by the StackPath-Terraform plug in increases productivity and reduces human error by allowing administrators to describe containers with a configuration syntax they can version, share, and reuse. The plug in also gives administrators insight into infrastructure dependencies and how to most efficiently develop infrastructure with the Terraform graph command for configuration files and enables changes to be automatically implemented with minimal human interaction but full visibility, according to the post.

StackPath-Terraform users can manage their StackPath infrastructure and easily add low-latency edge compute infrastructure to their traditional cloud compute infrastructure, whether it runs on Microsoft Azure, AWS, or Google Cloud.

Terraform users can also take advantage of products from more than 160 providers through the global partner program of the company responsible for Terraform, HashiCorp. By joining up as an official Terraform provider, the infrastructure management tool will now find and install the customer’s StackPath provider automatically.

In other news, Fastly has launched the new Cloud Optimizer edge cloud platform to enable critical, high-traffic content delivery from a position between any CDN (including those that aren’t Fastly) and the customer’s central cloud. This mid-tier between core and edge is also referred to as the aggregation edge.

Fastly Cloud Optimizer: a play for Citrix ITM customers?

Fastly Cloud Optimizer is said to improve load balancing and intelligent routing to improve the reliability of digital experiences. Customers can use near real-time log information to route traffic based on the criteria of their own choosing. The optimization tool also provides real-time logs with client-side analytics, visibility down to the network layer, and control over configurations, the company says. Customers can also be more agile with Cloud Optimizer’s support for integrated configuration with CI/CD systems and during migrations between different environments.

“Important events, such as Black Friday or the launch of new software, can really be difficult to execute, as they require a good deal of agility and reliability,” Fastly President Joshua Bixby explained in the release. “As a result, today’s commerce and high-tech organizations commonly work with multi-cloud or multi-CDN architectures, but that can quickly lead to higher traffic volumes and egress costs, limited visibility into legacy CDN performance, and vendor lock-in with origin providers. Cloud Optimizer helps those organizations by lowering costs and increasing observability, and that’s a big win for customers prioritizing quality experiences for their end-users.”

The CDN vendor went public in 2019.

Analysis

StackPath has been working hard to up its game with developers, and allowing customers to use tools like Terraform will help attract developers looking to better manage applications they may want to deploy. StackPath has been building out edge services with a variety of options for using containers, VMs, or serverless functions on edge nodes.

Fastly, meanwhile, has been gaining traction in the video streaming segment of the CDN market, serving as one of the CDNs delivering content for the 2020 SuperBowl online. The Cloud Optimizer service can help Fastly gain traffic from the main players in that segment (Akamai, CenturyLink, Limelight Networks and Verizon Digital) by being the content steering mechanism that sits in between various CDN service providers and the customer origin server.

There’s also some business to be picked up from other traffic management services, as we’ve learned that Citrix is no longer actively selling Intelligent Traffic Management to customers. Citrix ITM is the product that came from the Cedexis acquisition in 2018. Cedexis built itself up as a vendor of real user measurement (RUM) data that was used in conjunction with its DNS-based traffic management as a service. One of Cedexis’ biggest source of revenue was large media companies leveraging the OpenMix traffic steering service to enable a multi-CDN strategy.

Jim Davis, Principal Analyst, Edge Research Group

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