Fastly Releases Edge Cloud Platform

Fastly announced today the release of their new edge cloud platform, which provides application delivery, scalability, and security at the edge of the network. Built into the platform are three products Fastly is also announcing today–the Fastly Image Optimizer, Load Balancer, and WAF–as well as additional application delivery and cloud security services, including an integrated bot detection solution from PerimeterX.

Although Suzanne Konvicka, Fastly’s VP of Product Marketing, notes that the central cloud infrastructure is unlikely to disappear anytime soon, an increasing amount of information is generated by users at the edge, and the edge cloud platform is designed to serve that information with greater speed, agility, and programmability. “The advantage of handling data this way is that it can be instantly validated, with real-time control over how content is served and cached, as well as real-time analytics,” Suzanne states.

Built on on top of  Varnish, an open source caching engine, the platform is designed to empower customers to take advantage of its full functionality. The SDK is the foundation of the platform, which includes, in addition to today’s releases, web performance, streaming and video, and cloud security services such as DDoS, TLS, and authentication. Discussing the newly released services, Sean Leach, Lead Technologist, remarked, “Each of these products were built into our powerful edge cloud platform to provide our customers with speed, scale, real-time capabilities, flexibility, API-driven control and the ability to write code at the edge.”

Image Optimizer

With the Image Optimizer, Sean notes that Fastly has concentrated on critical features–resizing, cropping, orientation, background color, quality control and format conversion–and made their focus “serv[ing] the best image to the client as quickly as possible from the edge.” In terms of speed, Fastly states that their edge cloud platform is best in class for static long-tail and dynamic content delivery in most regions.

With the Image Optimizer, clients like Nordstrom Rack can obtain real-time logs and analytics, instantly modify image rules with self-service configurations, rewrite URLs at the edge without re-coding HTML, and lower infrastructure load and egress costs by serving more images from cache.

WAF

Built directly into VCL used for caching, load balancing, and DDoS, Fastly’s WAF differs from other CDNs in that it only inspects direct origin traffic. Any known legitimate requests are served from the cache to save time inspecting the traffic, which preserves cache performance and results in a low performance hit of only 1.5-2ms for WAF traffic, depending on the rules and payload. The WAF also allows for real-time configuration changes to WAF rules using VCL and provides access to WAF events and notifications with a 1-2 second delay.

Load Balancer

Fastly customers benefit from the Load Balancer, WAF and DDoS, Image Optimizer, video streaming services, and CDN all in one platform. The cloud-based Load Balancer can be used for both global and local load balancing across multiple IaaS, hybrid-cloud, or datacenters, and can allow for multi-cloud load balancing between different providers, such as Google Cloud and AWS. The content-aware routing allows for layer-7 decision-making, as opposed to the less flexible DNS-based solutions that are in the market today, and can accommodate an unlimited number of custom rules, which can be changed globally with only a few seconds of delay.

Bot Detection

PerimeterX took advantage of the Fastly edge cloud platform to build out a behavior-based bot detection solution that prevents account takeover, content and price scraping, digital fraud, and complex application-layer attacks that target specific functions like shopping carts and user logins. Page requests are served to end users with a JavaScript snippet that activates PerimeterX’s monitoring and collects information from the network, user, and device layers and uses real-time algorithms to determine the trustworthiness of a user’s session and detect suspicious activity. When a bot is detected, the rule is pushed out to Fastly to enforce it at the edge. One unique differentiator is that the solution works for both cached and original content, as opposed to only uncacheable content like most of the existing solutions.

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