October 29, 2020

The “CDN Edge” brings Compute closer to where it is needed most

By Muhammad Rehman, VP & Head of Product—Delivery, Security and Compute, Verizon Media

Demand for video streaming, gaming, telehealth, real-time inferencing and other applications has skyrocketed. Computing at the “CDN Edge” can provide enterprises with a high-performing, reliable, low-latency solution that is just 10-25 ms away from internet users in major U.S. metros. A centralized cloud architecture meets many of today’s use-case requirements for performance and Quality of Experience (QoE), but emerging use-cases demand much more. Depending on the use case, the CDN Edge and the 5G Edge provide the best options for moving workloads from public cloud environments closer to end users, delivering economies of scale and improved performance.

The CDN Edge also offers the ability to manage any scaling challenges, easily navigate traffic spikes and flash crowds, and reach new markets. There is also minimal administration necessary to utilize compute at the CDN Edge. Developers can deploy code with minimum overhead and minimal infrastructure provisioning.

Figure 1: At just 10-25 ms away from internet users residing in major U.S. metros, the CDN Edge provides enterprises with a high-performing, reliable, low-latency solution for edge compute workloads.

The CDN Edge sits in the middle between cloud providers and the 5G Edge. At Verizon Media, the CDN Edge is comprised of multiple layers:

  1. Global Delivery Network
  2. Edge Compute Infrastructure
  3. Video, Delivery, Security and Compute product families

Figure 2: The Verizon Media Platform.

Global CDN network—The foundation of the CDN Edge is our global CDN network, currently consisting of 120+ Tbps of egress capacity across 165+ Super PoP locations worldwide. Our network is interconnected with over 5,500 last-mile networks.

Edge Compute infrastructure—We are deploying Edge compute infrastructure by updating our cache servers to run compute workloads and using Kubernetes for container orchestration. This infrastructure will transform our CDN to become a Compute network, with content delivery becoming one of the workloads running on it.

Product Families—This layer allows us to support use cases related to Video, Delivery, Security and Compute and will run on the Edge compute infrastructure. Use case examples include products such as low-latency video streaming, bot detection, ultra-personalization, server-side ad insertion, image transformation, token authentication and much more.

Our Compute product will enable our customers to deploy, run and manage their applications using serverless functions or using containers:

Functions@Edge is a Function-as-a-Service (FaaS) solution that enables our customers to deploy serverless computing at the edge, with the ability to deploy, run and manage applications. This removes the complexity of procuring, provisioning, building and maintaining the infrastructure typically associated with operating a full-scale application.

Containers@Edge provides a globally distributed Managed Kubernetes-based Edge infrastructure and enables customers to move their workflows from on-premise or cloud environments to the CDN Edge by packaging their software in a container and deploying them at Kubernetes clusters available at the CDN Edge.

Edge Applications: In addition to allowing our customers to develop and run their applications at the edge, we will offer Compute as a managed platform. Customers can utilize fully tested, pre-built functions integrated with our CDN to support common use cases, like image optimization or shopper prioritization, without developing or supporting the code on their own.

Connecting to the 5G Edge

We can bring edge computing even closer to the end user by tapping into the Verizon 5G Edge to serve use cases such as AR gaming and immersive VR360, which require extremely low latency. Outside North America, we are partnering with other providers who are launching regional 5G Edge compute platforms, similarly enabling them to leverage the Verizon Media CDN Edge where needed. Depending on the use case and the customer’s business objectives, the goal is to provide an end-to-end platform where compute workloads can be run on the Verizon 5G Edge, the Verizon Media CDN Edge or a third-party 5G Edge platform. Check out the Verizon 5G Edge Blog and Verizon 5G Future Forum to learn more.

The CDN Edge provides an efficient way for companies to move their applications and workloads closer to end users and deliver better speed and performance. With worldwide internet usage continuing to climb, this is more critical than ever, especially for businesses who want to stay competitive. For companies who lack the resources and tools to develop and run their workloads, a managed edge compute PaaS will give them access to edge compute capabilities without the corresponding need to develop and support code.

To learn how our CDN Edge can help you achieve your goals, contact us now.

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