Edge Computing: The New Frontier in CDN Technology


By Ann Oliver

Edge computing in CDNs is revolutionizing the way data is delivered. With advancements in networking technology and code portability, hyperscale cloud providers have extended their hybrid cloud offerings to the edge. This shift has given rise to new competitors who are pursuing an edge computing strategy to offer cloud-like compute services that can compete with major cloud providers.

The edge is transforming cloud architecture, enabling organizations to leverage voice, image, and video at scale. Major cloud providers are responding by expanding their edge infrastructure and partnerships to ensure they remain competitive.

Discover how edge computing is reshaping content delivery, providing faster and more secure data delivery for a seamless user experience.

The Rise of Edge Computing Strategy in CDN Vendors

Content delivery networks (CDNs) have recognized the potential of edge computing and have started offering their own compute services. Companies such as Akamai, Fastly, Limelight Networks, and CenturyLink have expanded their services to include disk caching, load balancing, and security, in addition to their traditional video streaming support. They have realized that by leveraging spare compute capacity in their points of presence around the world, they can offer cloud-like services that are closer to the user, resulting in improved performance and reduced latency.

CDN vendors now allow clients to build and deploy code to their points of presence, much like serverless and function as a service (FaaS) offerings. This means that organizations can provision cloud-like services at scale, taking advantage of the compute capabilities available at the edge. It not only enhances their ability to handle traffic spikes but also ensures that users can enjoy reliable and high-quality streams. With CDN vendors investing in edge computing, the benefits of lower latency and faster workload time are becoming increasingly accessible.

The Rise of Edge Computing Strategy in CDN Vendors

To further highlight the significance of edge computing in CDNs, we present the following table showcasing key features offered by leading CDN vendors in the market:

CDN Vendor Edge Computing Features
Akamai – Disk caching
– Load balancing
– Customizable edge workloads
– Integrated security
Fastly – Varnish edge computing
– Compute@Edge
– Serverless compute environment
– Real-time log streaming and analysis
Limelight Networks – EdgeFunctions
– Intelligent Ingest
– Real-time analytics
– Secure edge services
CenturyLink – Edge Compute
– Distributed denial of service (DDoS) mitigation
– Content acceleration
– Application delivery

As CDNs continue to invest in edge computing and enhance their offering of cloud-like services, organizations across industries can leverage these advancements to deliver faster, more reliable, and high-quality experiences to their end-users. By utilizing edge compute capacity, CDNs are revolutionizing content delivery and setting new benchmarks for performance in the digital landscape.

Stay tuned for the next sections to explore how colocation vendors, telcos, and major cloud providers are also integrating edge computing into their strategies, further fueling the growth of this transformative technology.

Colocation Vendors: Offering Cloud-like Compute Services

Colocation vendors like Equinix have positioned themselves as key players in the edge computing market. They have established a robust network of data centers around the world, forming a web of facilities that enterprises can leverage to deploy code and run workloads closer to the edge. This proximity to the edge offers several advantages, including reduced costs, lower latency, and enhanced security.

By colocating their infrastructure with major cloud data centers, colocation vendors ensure improved connectivity and seamless integration with cloud services. This allows organizations to take advantage of cloud-like compute services without having to rely solely on the major cloud providers. With the ability to provision resources at the edge, businesses can achieve faster and more efficient data processing, resulting in enhanced performance and enhanced user experiences.

Colocation Vendors: Offering Cloud-like Compute Services

Furthermore, colocation vendors offer an alternative to the centralized architecture of traditional cloud services. By distributing compute resources at the edge, organizations can achieve a more decentralized and resilient infrastructure that is better suited for handling modern workloads. This distributed architecture also provides redundancy and ensures business continuity in the event of network disruptions or data center outages.

In summary, colocation vendors play a crucial role in the edge computing landscape by offering cloud-like compute services through their extensive network of data centers. By leveraging the proximity to the edge, organizations can achieve lower latency, faster data processing, and improved security. Colocation vendors provide an alternative to the major cloud providers, allowing businesses to harness the power of edge computing and drive innovation across industries.

Table: Comparison of Colocation Vendors

Colocation Vendor Number of Data Centers Geographic Coverage Services Offered
Equinix 200+ Global Colocation, Interconnection, Managed Services
Digital Realty 280+ Global Colocation, Interconnection, Data Center Solutions
Cyxtera 60+ North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific Colocation, Security, Networking
CoreSite 20+ North America Colocation, Interconnection, Cloud Solutions

The Rise of Telcos Utilizing Edge Compute Capacity

Telcos, such as AT&T and Verizon, are increasingly leveraging their excess edge compute capacity to offer cloud-like services and compete with major cloud providers. By utilizing the servers in their mobile base stations, smart cable boxes, and homes, telcos can provide efficient and scalable compute services for various applications. With the upcoming implementation of 5G capabilities, telcos are expected to further enhance their edge compute capabilities, enabling faster and more reliable processing of data.

Benefits of Telcos’ Edge Compute Capacity

The utilization of edge compute capacity by telcos brings several benefits. First and foremost, it significantly reduces latency by bringing compute resources closer to the end-user. This leads to faster workload processing and improved performance for applications and services. Additionally, by capitalizing on their existing infrastructure, telcos can offer more cost-effective compute services compared to traditional cloud providers.

Telcos’ edge compute capacity also opens up new possibilities for edge-based applications, such as real-time analytics, IoT devices, and smart city solutions. With their extensive network coverage, telcos can reach a larger user base and provide services that require ultra-low latency and fast response times.

Challenges and Future Outlook

Despite the advantages, telcos face challenges in effectively harnessing their edge compute capacity. Ensuring seamless integration and interoperability between edge and cloud environments remains a key consideration. Additionally, telcos need to invest in robust security measures to protect sensitive data and prevent unauthorized access.

Looking ahead, the combination of telcos’ edge compute capacity and 5G capabilities holds immense potential. It enables the development and deployment of innovative services and applications that can transform industries such as healthcare, manufacturing, and smart cities. Telcos are well-positioned to leverage their infrastructure and expertise to drive the adoption of edge computing and create new business opportunities in the evolving digital landscape.

Benefits Challenges Future Outlook
– Reduced latency
– Faster workload processing
– Cost-effective compute services
– Seamless integration and interoperability
– Robust security measures
– Development of innovative services and applications
– Transformation of industries
– Creation of new business opportunities

Section 5: The Edge Computing Strategy of Major Cloud Providers

The major cloud providers like AWS and Microsoft have recognized the potential of edge computing and have developed their own strategies to cater to this emerging market. While CDN, colocation, and telco vendors focus on expanding their edge infrastructure, the major cloud providers are taking a different approach.

One notable strategy is the introduction of offerings such as AWS Outposts and Azure Stack Edge. These solutions allow organizations to run their cloud-hosted services on premises and at the edge, providing localized cloud environments. By using a converged hardware strategy, the major cloud providers are extending their infrastructure to the edge, enabling businesses to benefit from cloud services closer to where their data is generated and consumed.

Additionally, the major cloud providers have formed partnerships with telcos to offer edge services and are exploring alternative connectivity options, including satellite connections, to counter the capabilities of 5G. These initiatives ensure that they remain competitive in the market and continue to dominate the enterprise space.

Cloud Provider Edge Computing Strategy
AWS Offerings such as AWS Outposts provide localized cloud environments, enabling organizations to run cloud-hosted services on-premises and at the edge.
Microsoft Azure Stack Edge extends cloud services to the edge, allowing businesses to leverage cloud capabilities closer to where their data is generated and consumed.


The major cloud providers have recognized the importance of edge computing and have developed strategies to cater to this emerging market. By offering localized cloud environments, extending their infrastructure to the edge, and forming partnerships with telcos, they are ensuring they remain competitive and dominant in the enterprise space. As the adoption of edge computing continues to grow, the strategies of these cloud providers will play a crucial role in shaping the future of edge computing.

Lower Latency, Faster Workload Time, Reliable and High-Quality Streams

Edge computing in content delivery networks (CDNs) offers significant benefits for optimizing the delivery of content to users. The adoption of edge computing technologies has enabled CDNs to overcome the challenge of managing and distributing live content at ultra-low latencies, resulting in a seamless viewing experience for users. By optimizing key video workflow capabilities like video ingestion, encoding, and ad-insertion at the CDN edge, broadcasters can ensure faster workload times and guarantee reliable and high-quality streams.

One of the key advantages of edge computing in CDNs is the reduction of latency. By deploying computing resources closer to the end-users, CDNs can minimize the time it takes for data to travel from the origin server to the user’s device. This reduced latency significantly improves the viewer’s experience, particularly as more 5G-capable devices emerge. With lower latency, CDNs can accommodate increased demand for their services, handle traffic spikes, and deliver content at faster speeds.

Edge computing also enables CDNs to provide reliable and high-quality streams. By processing video workflows at the edge, CDNs can optimize the delivery of content, ensuring smooth playback and minimizing buffering. This ensures that users have a consistent and enjoyable viewing experience, even under challenging network conditions. Additionally, edge computing allows broadcasters to introduce new features and services to enhance the viewer’s experience, such as personalized content recommendations and interactive elements.

Benefits of Edge Computing in CDNs
Lower latency
Faster workload time
Reliable and high-quality streams

In summary, edge computing in CDNs brings numerous advantages for content delivery. Lower latency, faster workload times, and reliable and high-quality streams are among the key benefits. By leveraging edge computing technologies, CDNs can optimize the delivery of content, improve user experience, and introduce innovative features and services. As the demand for streaming services continues to grow, edge computing in CDNs will play a crucial role in ensuring seamless and immersive viewing experiences for users around the world.

The Potential of Edge Computing Across Industries

Edge computing has the potential to revolutionize a wide range of industries, from manufacturing to healthcare, smart cities to energy efficiency. By enabling real-time data collection, analysis, and processing at the edge of the network, edge computing offers numerous benefits and opportunities for innovation.


In the manufacturing industry, edge computing allows for real-time monitoring and optimization of industrial processes and supply chains. By leveraging edge devices and sensors, manufacturers can collect and analyze data on production lines, equipment performance, and inventory levels. This real-time data analysis helps identify bottlenecks, reduce downtime, optimize energy usage, and improve overall product quality. With edge computing, manufacturers can achieve cost savings, improve operational efficiency, and gain a competitive edge.


Edge computing plays a vital role in the healthcare industry, enabling real-time monitoring and remote patient care. With edge devices and wearable sensors, healthcare providers can collect and process patient data at the point of care, reducing the need for data transmission to centralized servers. This not only improves the speed and accuracy of healthcare interventions but also reduces the burden on network bandwidth. Edge computing enables healthcare professionals to deliver personalized, real-time care, monitor patients remotely, and respond quickly to critical situations, ultimately improving patient outcomes and saving lives.

Smart Cities

Smart cities rely on the integration and coordination of various systems and services, and edge computing plays a crucial role in enabling this connectivity. By placing computing power and data processing capabilities at the edge of the network, smart cities can collect, analyze, and act upon data in real-time. This allows for better traffic management, improved energy efficiency, enhanced public safety, and optimized resource allocation. Edge computing empowers smart cities to make data-driven decisions, deliver personalized services, and create a more sustainable and livable environment for residents.

Energy Efficiency

Edge computing enables real-time monitoring and control of energy systems, leading to improved energy efficiency and cost savings. By deploying edge devices and sensors across the energy grid, organizations can collect data on energy consumption, demand, and supply. This data can then be analyzed and used to optimize energy distribution, reduce wastage, and enable better demand response strategies. Edge computing enables real-time decision-making in energy management, increasing efficiency, and supporting the transition to renewable energy sources.

Industry Benefits of Edge Computing
Manufacturing Real-time monitoring, optimized processes, improved product quality
Healthcare Remote patient monitoring, real-time interventions, improved healthcare outcomes
Smart Cities Connected infrastructure, optimized resource allocation, enhanced public services
Energy Efficiency Real-time energy monitoring, optimized distribution, improved sustainability

Section 8: The Importance of Consistency in Edge and Cloud Management

As organizations increasingly adopt edge computing and devices become more distributed, it becomes crucial to maintain consistency in the management and operations between the edge and the cloud. While data processing and connectivity happen at the edge, centralized management and operations capabilities are still necessary. Consistency in edge and cloud architectures ensures seamless integration, interoperability, and efficient management of edge solutions.

By implementing a centralized architecture, organizations can manage edge solutions across any cloud, any app, and any endpoint, while maintaining control and gaining insights from data captured at the edge. This consistent approach allows for efficient workload management, streamlined operations, and simplified administration. It also enables organizations to scale their edge deployments without sacrificing visibility or control.

A distributed architecture, on the other hand, offers flexibility and agility by enabling organizations to distribute compute resources closer to the data source. However, it is essential to maintain consistency in management and operations across the distributed edge infrastructure. This ensures that organizations can effectively monitor, manage, and secure their edge environments while leveraging the benefits of edge computing.

The Benefits of Consistent Edge and Cloud Management:

  • Seamless Integration: Consistency in edge and cloud management enables smooth integration between edge and cloud environments, allowing organizations to leverage the best of both worlds.
  • Efficient Workload Management: With consistent management and operations, organizations can efficiently deploy, monitor, and manage workloads across the edge and cloud, ensuring optimal performance and resource utilization.
  • Improved Visibility and Control: A centralized architecture allows for centralized visibility and control over edge solutions, providing organizations with the insights and oversight needed to ensure security, compliance, and governance.
  • Scalability and Flexibility: Consistency in edge and cloud management enables organizations to scale their edge deployments without compromising management capabilities, allowing for seamless growth and expansion.
Centralized Architecture Distributed Architecture
Efficient workload management Flexibility and agility
Improved visibility and control Proximity to data source
Seamless integration Increased complexity
Scalability and flexibility Management consistency challenges

In conclusion, maintaining consistency in edge and cloud management is crucial for organizations adopting edge computing. Whether through a centralized architecture or a distributed architecture, consistent management and operations enable seamless integration, efficient workload management, improved visibility and control, and scalability. By ensuring consistency, organizations can leverage the full potential of edge computing and drive business success.

Section 9: Integrating AI and ML with Edge Computing

Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) have become increasingly important in industries that require real-time decision-making. With the emergence of edge computing, organizations can now leverage the power of AI and ML at the edge, where data is captured and processed closer to the source. This enables quick responses to changing conditions and enhances decision-making capabilities.

Edge computing facilitates real-time decision-making by processing AI and ML workloads at the edge. By analyzing historical data and predicting future trends, organizations can make informed decisions in real-time. For example, in power distribution, edge computing allows for real-time monitoring and adjustments in response to weather changes. AI and ML algorithms at the core analyze historical data to predict power surges, while edge computing enables real-time decision-making to balance the distribution and ensure stable power supply.

Benefits of Integrating AI and ML with Edge Computing:

  1. Real-time insights: By processing AI and ML workloads at the edge, organizations can gain real-time insights from data captured closer to the source. This enables quick response to changing conditions and facilitates proactive decision-making.
  2. Improved efficiency: Edge computing allows for the efficient processing of AI and ML workloads at the edge, minimizing the need for data transmission to centralized cloud environments. This reduces latency and ensures faster decision-making.
  3. Enhanced security: By processing AI and ML workloads at the edge, organizations can minimize the risk of data breaches and improve security. Data can be processed locally without being transmitted to external cloud environments, reducing the attack surface.
  4. Scalability: Edge computing enables organizations to scale their AI and ML capabilities by distributing the workload across multiple edge devices. This allows for efficient resource utilization and ensures optimal performance.

Integrating AI and ML with edge computing offers numerous benefits across industries. With real-time insights, improved efficiency, enhanced security, and scalability, organizations can leverage the power of data capture and real-time processing for improved decision-making and business success.

The Importance of Consistency in Edge and Cloud Management

As edge computing continues to gain traction and devices become more distributed, maintaining consistency in management and operations between the edge and the cloud is crucial. We understand that while connectivity and data processing happen at the edge, organizations still require centralized management and operations capabilities.

Consistency between edge and cloud architectures ensures seamless integration and interoperability. It enables organizations to effectively manage edge solutions across any cloud, any app, and any endpoint, while maintaining control and gaining valuable insights from data captured at the edge.

At Dell Technologies, we recognize the importance of consistent management and operations in both edge and cloud environments. Our customer-centric approach provides Intel-based, tier-one technology infrastructure optimized for the edge. Equipped with modern application services and integrated intrinsic security at every layer, our reliable supply chain ensures minimal disruption and maximizes security.

In addition, we foster an ecosystem of partners who can build solutions tailored to specific use cases. This collaborative approach contributes to the growth of the edge computing market, allowing organizations to efficiently deploy, manage, integrate, and support edge solutions. By extending trusted IT infrastructure to the edge, we empower businesses to unlock the full potential of edge computing and drive long-term success.

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