Introducing SmartEdge! The next-generation CDN edge routing engine.

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To help you build a faster internet, we need a big global network. Over the years, we have grown from less than 10 locations around the world, to over 50 and increasing! By bringing your content closer to your users, we can ensure maximum performance, reliability, and in the end, a great experience for your users.

However, the larger a network, the more tricky it becomes to make sure new expansions add additional benefit, and don't end up actually hurting your performance. Cache HIT rate is an important factor in content delivery, which can completely destroy performance for smaller sites. The more locations we add, the lower the chance becomes that your users will end up in a location that is already caching your files.

Understand this is actually the reason why some CDNs try to model their network with a smaller set of locations. In many cases, that actually ends up offering more benefit with 30 PoPs, than a global network of 200 for example.

At however, we took this as a challenge. Why limit our performance with a smaller set of locations, when we can tackle the problem head on and find a better solution. That was exactly what we did. We poured multiple years of experience and data together to get the best of both worlds. We are excited to introduce SmartEdge.

Bringing Users Where It Matters

SmartEdge is a next-generation routing engine that not only routes your users to the closest location geographically, but to the location that actually matters. No matter if you're serving a small blog or a large advertising network, SmartEdge will make sure your users receive optimal performance at all times by processing 8 different performance metrics, real-time health-checking and monitoring built into the core of the engine itself.

Routing Based on Your Content

SmartEdge monitors your traffic in real-time, looking at library size, file size, cache hit rate, and geographical traffic distribution, and more, to adjust routing on the fly. It makes sure your users are routed to an optimal destination to guarantee the maximum performance possible. Based on different metrics, the routing is optimized to make sure you're getting the best benefit for your type of content and traffic.

One Routing System For One Problem

As we explored in our previous blog post, the internet is a big place with tens of thousands of networks connected to each other, and the closest geographical path is not always the fastest. Different routing systems are also better for different tasks and GeoDNS, anycast, latency based routing are each useful depending on the region.

SmartEdge intelligently selects which routing system to use based on the region and network metrics specific to your content. This way we can make sure to always route users in the most optimal way based on where they are connecting from to guarantee excellent performance.

Real-Time Monitoring

In the modern world, downtime is inexcusable. Even a few seconds of downtime can cost you sales and bring unhappy users. However, the internet is not always perfect. To combat that, SmartEdge integrates network monitoring straight into the routing engine. Any issues are immediately detected and traffic is routed away. This way, we make sure you stay online even in a case one of our PoPs gets overloaded or experiences a network issue.

Are there downsides?

That sounds great, but what are the downsides of potentially not routing every zone to all of our PoPs? We spent a lot of time developing, tweaking and teaching the system to achieve optimal performance for every request and we are incredibly excited about the results we've already seen. SmartEdge detects new traffic patterns in a matter of seconds and makes sure that every request goes where it matters most.

The system has already been used across our network for multiple months with great results.  We've seen a noticeable improvement in performance as well as cache hit rates of 10-30% on average, even as we expanded our network at the same time.

A bigger network to give you an edge!

SmartEdge allows us to continue to expand our network and push the performance to the next level. It allows us to deliver the best performance even for the most demanding use-cases and push the boundaries about what's possible, while at the same time making sure smaller websites are loading lightning-fast as well. Not every content is delivered the same, but we can make sure it's delivered as fast as possible.

We are truly excited about the update and believe it gives our customers a real edge above traditional CDNs and achieve performance never seen before, especially in combination with Perma-Cache that we will continue to heavily invest into in 2021.