Deep Dive Into Instart Logic

Instart Logic is one of the most exciting startups in the country. I’ve read the reports about them from Gartner, Forrester, and Frost & Sullivan; sat through a personal demo presented by the executive team; and watched a web demo presented at the Velocity WPO Conference. My perception of Instart Logic has changed from my first post, for the better; they have gone from an awesome product to a “killer product”. The team at Instart Logic are from the heavy weights including Google, Akamai, Cotendo, Mozilla, Citrix, Teradata, & Motorola. They understand CDN, mobility, big data & browser technology, inside-out. One of the names that pops out from the list above is Mozilla. You would expect nothing short of a spectacular product, coming from this kind of talent pool.

Traditional CDN

A traditional CDN starts off at the backend, by buying servers, loading them with caching software, buying bandwidth, and focusing on optimizations in the first-mile, middle-mile, and last- mile. These optimizations are done at different layers, including TCP/IP layer, code improvement in caching software, architecting the perfect storage & RAM mix for quick read/write access, and continuous improvements to BGP Anycast/Internetworking routes. Instart Logic does all this, but comes in from a different angle.

Browser-end Optimization (BEO)

Instart Logic is not a traditional CDN. They started at the front-end, at the browser, and worked backwards towards the web origin server. They do what other CDNs do, however, their solution focuses more on the delivery of bytes to the browser, which they call “page paint”. In their view, the most important elements of delivery are “what bytes can be sent for initial page paint”, what is the “time to first interaction”, what is “time to display”, and what bytes can be sent in the background. This is definitely a different way of looking at it, compared to traditional CDNs.

Instart Logic is like the next generation of Strangeloop Networks, one of the pioneers of FEO. Strangeloop Networks improves page load times through compression, pre-fetching, deferral, object consolidation to reduce round trip times, and progressive image rendering. Instart Logic does all the above, and much more. They actually break down images, videos, and objects into bytes, and deliver the most important bytes first to the browser, in order to paint a page, so users interact with the website quickly.

Instead of sending 100% of the image, Instart Logic send 50%, or whatever percentage, to display just enough of the image to the end user, so the end user engage with the content. The technology that makes this happen is the NanoVisor and AppSequencer. The NanoVisor is a thin virtualization layer of javascript/action script that sits alongside the browser. The AppSequencer sits on the server in the POP. Both of them communicate with each other.

The AppSequencer is the brains of the operations, deciding how to break down the object into bytes, what bytes to send first, in what order, and what bytes to send in the background.

Conclusion

The Instart Logic technology is like the next generation of FEO, with a hybrid architecture that is like a browser sitting on top of another browser, or a BDN- browser delivery network, or browser rendering network. For now, I’ll just stick with Web Application Streaming.

This company is one of the two best startups in the CDN ecosystem, alongside Shape Security. It doesn’t matter if they generate $25M per year, in the first couple of years, the technology itself it worth a couple of hundred million dollars. They are a perfect fit for Akamai, Google or Verizon Wireless.