Cool Startup – Rafay Systems Introduces CDN for Microservices


Sunnyvale, California-based Rafay Systems has recently launched as a “CDN for Microservices.” At its core, the Rafay platform is a global edge orchestration service that automates the placement and ongoing operations of latency and location-sensitive workloads closer to users and devices. In this case, the edge runs on both public and private clouds, and across telco/hosting infrastructure. The key components of the platform are the control plane and data plane, which are responsible for distributed container lifecycle management, global traffic steering, dynamic placement decisions, and so on. The target market for the startup is customers running running microservices.

Competitive Landscape

There is a tectonic shift in the way distributed applications are being built, deployed, and managed at scale, thanks to microservices. Microservices is a service-oriented architecture that is redefining the world of the modern distributed application. Startups, the Cloud Giants, the Internet Giants and the Legacy Giants are building an extensive ecosystem to support containerized microservices. This trend has caught the CDN industry off guard since they view the world of applications as purely static and dynamic, regardless of whether the application is a monolith, virtualized, containerized, or a collection of thousands of containerized microservices.

However, a handful of CDNs have responded to the new reality and introduced products in the areas of serverless and edge compute functionality that aid in supporting the modern application. These technologies allow companies to build and deploy code at the edge via Javascript Engine or WebAssembly.

Rafay has introduced a new business model for supporting the cloud native and microservices based application. The value prop is they have figured out a way to scale and extend containerized microservices to hundreds of locations around the world with ease, something Kubernetes and Istio are unable to do on their own. They have built the platform from the ground up to cater to this need. Companies from the likes of Lyft to the Fortune 500 have embraced microservices and many have started to take parts of their monolithic application functionality and convert them into microservices. Although the microservices ecosystem is still in the early stages, it’s the future of the modern application.

  • Company: Rafay Systems
  • Started: 2017
  • HQ: Sunnyvale, CA
  • Raised: $4.1M
  • Investors: Menlo Ventures, Floodgate, Moment Ventures and Costanoa Ventures
  • Founders: Haseeb Budhani (CEO) and Hemanth Kavuluru (VP Engineering)
  • Product: Global orchestration and operations platform that dynamically places containerized microservices in managed clusters at the edge
  • Pricing: Based on average number of containers used per month
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