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The Benefits of an Edge Platform in Practice: Technology

In this blog post we’ll show you how an edge platform benefits the technology industry in practice and all the agents involved in the process: DevOps, businesses and users.

And more

You’ll find out why the union between the tech industry and edge platforms is so successful.

The world is growing even more connected

The COVID-19 pandemic came to shake our certainties, to show us that what we take for granted can be drastically changed overnight. And one of the most impactful things it has done is to transform online customer behavior, which will undoubtedly never be the same again. What they look for, how they look for it, what they buy, when they buy and what they expect from the experiences, everything has changed! And let’s face it, to a more demanding level than ever before.

What was the result of this? Remote work, new entertainment habits, and the massive growth of internet-connected devices have accelerated and extended the digital transformation to every aspect of business and our lives. But despite the shock, it is human nature to adapt to new scenarios and habits.

​​Therefore, the companies that most quickly adapt to these changes and offer what customers expect in terms of online experience, products and services, will certainly be the ones that will grow stronger and gain even more space and loyal customers – if this hasn’t been your case yet, you will see here that it’s still possible to change your situation.

According to Euromonitor International’s Top 10 Global Consumer Trends 2021 report, companies must more than ever be aware of changes in customers’ values ​​and behavior and must prioritize and reinforce their demands.

We have selected here some of the main trends that apply to businesses of all sectors:

  • Craving convenience: There is great pressure for companies to quickly adapt their operations, developing a more resilient customer experience while preserving convenience levels, maintaining agility and continuity of the purchase journey across all channels.
  • Playing with time: in the era of immediacy, time has become a commodity and has never been so valued. Companies must propose solutions that meet the customers’ desire to optimize their time, offering greater flexibility, especially with regard to products and services accessible from the customer’s home or nearby.
  • Safety obsessed: the fear of contagion has encouraged customers to seek solutions that don’t require physical contact in order to avoid exposure. Furthermore, there’s a huge concern about data theft in the online environment. Companies must implement strict biological and digital security measures aimed at mitigating customers’ concerns.
  • Thoughtful Thrifters: customers are more cautious and moderate with their finances, so they seek to obtain the best cost-benefit and prioritize value-added products and services. Companies must make value propositions, offering affordable options without reducing quality.

As you can see, flawless experiences, time savings, value-added products and security are must-haves for today’s customers and the least companies should offer.

Challenges in The Technology Industry

So far we have talked about the global scenario and the challenges that all businesses face on a general level, but now let’s talk about specific problems that the technology sector has been facing lately.

Below are some of the main challenges this industry faces:

  1. Increased demand online

    With the advance of digitization of all sectors, also driven by the pandemic, we have seen the boom of some technology companies focused on some niches, such as education, food and health. Furthermore, changes in the customers’ behavior, with more remote working, shopping and online learning, has resulted in a huge increase in technological dependence in a short period of time. This requires great service capacity from technology companies and strategic planning about the products and services they offer on their platforms. The challenge here is to ensure availability and scalability and be agile in adapting to new market demands.

  2. More security and reliability

    Digital security has become a hotter topic than ever before. That’s because, with the growth of online demand, cyberattacks have also increased. Furthermore, users are more aware of the protection efforts that companies must offer in relation to their personal data. The challenge, therefore, is to protect against attacks and ensure the protection of data that is transacted between technology companies and their respective customers.

  3. Greater demand from users

    Technology companies must deal with the increasing demand from users for fast, flawless online experiences. The millisecond delays, navigation failures, and page unavailability define whether or not the user abandons a brand. The challenge here is to ensure that platforms or applications have a lot of speed and the best performance, and that they are able to keep up with the seasonality of market demand.

To overcome these challenges, companies have to take a series of measures that will directly impact their success, and one of them is to use technologies that will help to face and even eliminate these problems. One of the technological solutions that undoubtedly makes the difference in offering the best experiences in the online world is an edge platform, a fundamental part of our indispensable internet.

Azion Edge Platform: The Best and Most Modern Content Delivery Solution

Azion is an innovative company and is always attentive to market trends to serve its customers in the best way possible. That’s why one of our primary focuses is to add value to your product or service with a series of features that optimize all the steps involved in the content distribution process and benefit all agents who participate in the process.

Azion’s edge computing platform is full-stack, open, extensible and programmable, simplifying and streamlining the way you build software. Its edge computing technology is scalable, meaning Azion is responsible for the maintenance and administration of the infrastructure, dynamically allocating resources to meet the needs and demands of customers.

Furthermore, its architecture is decentralized and distributed, which makes it offer lower latency, more reliability and high scalability compared to legacy CDNs and even cloud computing solutions. It also allows for real-time data processing, which is critical for time-sensitive applications in critical areas. The sum of these factors reflects in a better performance, with a lower operating cost. And with over 65 global edge locations, you can orchestrate development across multi-cloud, on-premise or on remote devices.

Those who choose Azion’s Edge Platform create a great competitive advantage and have numerous benefits. Just to give you an idea, some of them are:

  • High availability for content and application delivery
  • Very low latency
  • Drastically reduced loading time
  • Bandwidth savings
  • Much more effective security
  • Full observability
  • Reduced operating costs
  • Happy DevOps and Customers

The Benefits for DevOps

An important point to highlight is the improvement that Azion’s Edge Platform brings to the life of DevOps, who are there daily working behind the scenes and suffering directly from legacy systems. Furthermore, if it wasn’t for them, businesses would have no products to offer and end users would have nothing to use or purchase.

The benefits are numerous, but some of them are:

  • Observability: Most traditional CDNs don’t provide DevOps with real-time observability, which makes it difficult to monitor the system, user behavior, and receive feedback – and this, of course, makes these professionals’ jobs difficult. An edge platform, in turn, gives DevOps a full and complete view of the system in real time.
  • ​​Control: DevOps, when working with traditional CDNs, don’t have control over configuration changes, which are the responsibility of the service provider. Furthermore, even the simplest changes can take a long time to be made, as they are also put in a queue. With an edge platform, DevOps have greater management and control, as well as more agility to apply changes via the management portal or API.
  • Orchestration: DevOps can deploy, manage, control, monitor and update resources on the edge in real time, without the need for provisioning, and can integrate other services.
  • Automation: Using SDN (Software-Defined Networking) makes it easy to use resources, so DevOps need only be concerned with creating and executing code and workloads on the edge; no provisioning, maintenance or operational tasks.
  • Serverless model: the provider runs and manages servers and all infrastructure and resources, which eliminates scalability, planning, and maintenance tasks for DevOps.
  • New use cases: the edge computing infrastructure facilitates the development of projects with modern technology, such as AI, AR, VR, IoT, machine learning, data and video streaming, 5G, and much more.

Azion’s Differential

In addition to the benefits presented before, Azion goes a step further by offering a simpler, faster, yet complete customer journey that makes DevOps work easier, and delivers better business results.

See how easy it is to use an edge platform from start to finish:

1st Step: Build

Once you start using an edge platform, you can build, develop, launch, and scale applications without restrictions. At this point, you focus on creating the applications, defining the rules and parameters. Furthermore, in this phase you will build a scalable infrastructure with edge nodes, which can be remotely configured using zero-touch provisioning.

2nd Step: Secure

In this step, you will define application security issues at the edge – you can choose between Web Application Firewall, DDoS Protection and Network Layer Protection or all options simultaneously – which will allow you to track malicious traffic, isolate OWASP Top 10 threats, adapt to zero-day attacks, and much more.

3rd Step: Deliver

After creating the applications on the edge computing platform, it’s possible to deliver them from a global network. That is, at that point, you are ready to use the network, and the content is ready to be delivered. There is also the possibility of adding all the intelligence (or part of it) of an edge platform to your own infrastructure through orchestration solutions.

4th Step: Observe

While an edge platform delivers content, with data analytics solutions you can see exactly what’s happening on your system and how your application users behave. That’s because you have access to real-time data about the entire operation, from start to finish, which even allows you to predict events and prevent incidents.

Success Case

Azion is trusted by leading companies in the technology market. See below how the case of GetNinjas is an example of this successful partnership.

Challenge

GetNinjas is a service contracting platform that operates in more than 3,000 cities in Brazil and has been expanding in Mexico. With the advent of the Covid-19 pandemic, GetNinjas’ user base grew exponentially, to the point of increasing average monthly enrollment by up to 60% over 2020[1].

With most of its infrastructure hosted in the United States, GetNinjas has the challenge of delivering fast, reliable service in all regions of Brazil, where:

  • according to the World Wide Bandwidth Speed ​​Ranking, the country ranks 111th[2];
  • latency rates are well above the national average[3] in areas where a large portion of GetNinjas’ customers are concentrated; and
  • the mobile Internet download speed is 35%[4] below the global average, and cell phones are used by 99.2% of Internet users[5].

In addition to performance and scalability obstacles, the GetNinjas team uses data intelligence to ensure application protection. They also perform A/B tests to improve the platform’s performance and its sites’ search engine rankings.

Solution

Azion offers GetNinjas edge-native solutions to enable service delivery with 100% availability — guaranteed by SLA — as well as features that add high value to its strategies and practices, such as:

  • observability: GetNinjas’ experts enhanced their observability practices, leveraging Data Streaming insights and updating Edge Firewall programmatically to rapidly mitigate complex threats;
  • performance optimization: the logs collected via Data Streaming help GetNinjas’ SRE team to significantly optimize domain performance and cache purging strategy;
  • troubleshooting: insights are fundamental for GetNinjas to identify flaws that affect, for example, the indexing of pages by good bots and the recurrence of broken links, which are triggered in proofs of concept (POC) that the team builds;
  • cybersecurity: ensuring that complex web threats do not affect applications is one of GetNinjas’ priorities. For this, GetNinjas uses DDoS Protection to mitigate automated threats and secures applications through Web Application Firewall and Network Layer Protection; and
  • advanced cache configurations: Azion’s Edge Caching expands GetNinjas’ possibilities for configuring and managing cache, increasing application speed while reducing infrastructure costs substantially.

As the Azion Platform uses open standards, its functionalities can be extended via API to its own or third-party solutions through Azion Marketplace.

The event records received via Data Streaming are processed in the systems used by GetNinjas, where they are crossed with the data obtained via Google Analytics. With this, data analysts have a panoramic view of what happens with GetNinjas’ applications on a daily basis, thus being able to:

  • understand what is and is not working;
  • monitor an unlimited number of domains;
  • assess the correctness of requests; and
  • identify bad bots and other malicious activities in real time.

With an extensive range of categories and diverse profiles of customers and professionals using the GetNinjas platform, personalization is essential for customers to have the best experience possible. Using Data Streaming and Edge Functions, GetNinjas’ team performs A/B tests and tracks relevant metrics, such as revenue, conversion and retention.

Results and impacts

The success of GetNinjas using the Azion Platform encompasses several aspects. One of these is the savings generated with the delivery of requests at the edge, fulfilling around 70% of requests to their domains with ultra-low latency, generating significant savings in infrastructure costs.

Azion’s dozens of edge locations in Brazil effortlessly distribute GetNinjas’ request traffic, helping to keep the service always available and reliable. In 2020, for example, when running a campaign on the largest public TV stations in the country, millions of concurrent requests were sustained for several hours, with more than 90% of requests delivered from the edge.

The use of Data Streaming is another highlight, since the data extracted in real time has a notable role in cybersecurity, especially with the identification of bad bots. It has also aided in troubleshooting issues during POCs and increasing performance, delivering a hit-rate increase of up to 80% in domains optimized through log tracking.

Whenever an A/B test is performed, event data collected via Data Streaming helps analysts to improve the user experience by measuring and comparing the effects of each action. At the same time, the insights complement the data collected via Google Analytics, leading GetNinjas to unique discoveries.

In less than a year of taking advantage of Data Streaming, GetNinjas collected more than 3 TB in data that not only increased performance and security, but also contributed to GetNinjas remaining at the top of search results. Anyone looking for a gardener in their city on Google or Bing will find GetNinjas and receive quotes within 24 hours!

Summary

To stay alive in the online world, there’s nowhere else to run: you either adopt digital transformation for good and the best technological solutions or the path to failure is just a matter of time. As failure is a word we don’t like to pronounce – let alone live – the best option is to choose complete tools that will exactly meet the demands of your business, in addition to providing peace of mind and ease of use for both your DevOps and end users.

As you have seen in our success case, an edge platform plays a fundamental role in the success of companies. And when the edge platform is Azion’s, the benefits and competitive advantage make all the difference.

Don’t waste more time and money on legacy solutions. Talk to our experts here and find out why Azion is the best choice.

References

[1] Worldwide broadband speed league 2021 Cable.co.uk
[2] Annual Internet Report (2018–2023) White Paper Mobile Times
[3] Broadband in Brazil NIC BR
[4] The State of Mobile Network Experience Open Signal
[5] PNAD Contínua TIC 2018 IBGE
[6] The Edge Completes the Cloud: A Gartner Trend Insight Report Gartner