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A Quick Tour of Azion's Edge Functions

A Quick Tour of Azion's Edge Functions

As part of our official release of JavaScript support for Edge Functions, we’ve rounded up and summarized past blog posts on Edge Computing and Edge Functions. This primer will give readers a conceptual view of how our Edge Computing platform is set up and how Edge Functions work. In addition, it covers Edge Functions’ attributes and features, discusses its key benefits, and describes the underlying technologies that help to make it great.

Emergence of the Modern Application

The ease of use, cost efficiency, low resource consumption, and agility of serverless computing have quickly made it one of the most effective and sought-after methods of building modern applications.

How do we define modern application?

Unlike the delivery of one-size-fits-all websites or web applications delivering static or boilerplate content, the new model of modern web application is dynamic, robust and customized to the needs of the customer. Thanks largely to our Edge Computing Platform and Edge Caching Network, web applications are responsive, quick and always available to match the increasing demands for a global audience and data-hungry machines.

Azion designed Edge Functions to maximize the benefits of serverless architecture while overcoming some of its key challenges.

Azion Introduces Edge Functions

Curious about what Edge Functions are and what they can do? Read about its key features and benefits here.

“Edge Functions lets you build edge-native applications or add functionality to your origin applications with event-driven functions. When a function is triggered, it executes in milliseconds on the edge node closest to its end user. Edge Functions run on our global edge network and scale automatically, without the need to manage or provision resources. Instead, you pay only when your code runs, eliminating upfront costs and avoiding wasted resources from over-provisioned servers.”

Execute Edge Functions with JavaScript

Want a more technical perspective on Edge Functions? Learn more about it in this blog post from Product Manager Rodrigo Costa.

“We chose not to use VMs and containers because of their high runtime cost and poor performance. Instead we chose the V8—Google’s open-source JavaScript and WebAssembly engine—as our request isolation engine. As a result, our performance is up to 100x higher and cost up to 10x lower than it would be compared to containers.”

History of JavaScript

With Edge Functions, developers can write event-driven functions in JavaScript, the most popular programming language in the world. But why is JavaScript so ubiquitous? Learn more about its features, history, and use cases in this blog post.

“JavaScript, a language with ubiquitous support and created with ease of use in mind, is a great fit for Edge Functions. Our implementation of JavaScript uses the ECMA Standard, including support for promises with async/await and plans to support WebAssembly soon. With Edge Functions, developers can build and run event-driven functions at the edge of the network, using the JavaScript Runtime API.”

Why Azion Chose the V8 Engine for Edge Functions

One of the underlying technologies that makes Edge Functions special is its use of the V8 JavaScript engine. For a primer on how V8 works and how it is able to compile and execute JavaScript with speed, precision, efficiency, and security, check out this blog post.

“V8 translates high-level JavaScript code into low-level machine code, then executes that code. Part of compiling and executing code involves other tasks like handling the call stack, managing the memory heap, caching and garbage collection, providing data types, objects and the event loop. The orchestration of these internal runtime I/O activities ensures memory and code run efficiently.”

Edge Functions Make Cents: The Economics of Serverless Computing

Serverless computing eliminates high startup costs and reduces overhead. But how does Edge Functions’ cost compare to other serverless computing products? Find out here.

“With Edge Functions, invocations use less resources and cost less to run. In addition, there is no separate charge for memory use and no need to deploy or instantiate containers, resulting in lower operational costs. And because Edge Functions are delivered from distributed Edge Computing locations rather than hyperscale data centers, they take less time to execute, resulting in shorter (and thus less expensive) workloads.”

Conclusion

Edge Functions combine the low-latency of edge computing with the ease of use and cost savings of serverless. In addition, it is more resource efficient, cost effective, and faster than AWS Lambda and other container-based serverless computing products, making it a great choice for ultra-low latency applications, adding third-party functionality, modernizing legacy applications, and implementing agile workflows like CI/CD. Ready to get started with Edge Functions? Visit the product page for pricing information or create a free account to become an Azion user today.