Finally, CDNs are Catching up to Security Startups in Innovation

Over the last three years, pure-play security start-ups have been the most innovative bunch within the technology industry. On the other hand, Content Delivery Networks have been a group innovating at an average pace, building features upon existing features. Finally, that has changed and many CDNs are catching up to their innovative cyber security counterparts. In the cyber security world, start-ups such as ThetaRay, Aorato, Fortscale, BioCatch, Seculert and Lastline are pushing the boundaries of innovations, beyond the innovations coming out from the likes of Symantec, IBM and Cisco. The common foundation amongst the cyber security start-up => all of them offer behavioral based platforms that incorporate complex algorithms, machine learning capabilities, making them artificially intelligent applications that learn traffic patterns, behavior, and digest large volumes of data, in order to make real time decisions for stopping breaches in real time.

Some start-up CDNs are making similar inroads, and creating intelligent applications and services that we haven’t seen before. Instart Logic, Incapsula, Aryaka & Fastly are pushing the boundaries of innovation within their ecosystem, leveraging technologies such as big data, SDN, VM, machine learning, creating intelligent applications, and separating the application layer from the CDN hardware infrastructure. These advanced services cater to the complex needs of today’s consumer, whether its dealing with the wireless last mile,  real time caching/purging/reporting, protecting against multi-vector DDoS attacks, or running global businesses on a private B2B CDN.

The common story coming from this camp of innovators, they are here to replace legacy CDNs that were built on legacy CDN infrastructures. The rapid pace of innovation in servers, and simultaneous drop in hardware prices is a big contributor to the success of these start-ups. Artur from Fastly once mentioned in a speech May 2012, that one server costing $12k to $15k running Sandy Bridge E technology supports 48k SSL requests/second, 5k handshakes/second, 32k connected clients and 9600 Apache threads. That’s a lot of horse power in a single server, and that was 2 years ago. What do you get today when you have two servers like that? It replaces a rack of servers in legacy CDN infrastructure.