The 14-month-old startup Edgemesh has devised a way to tap cached content about as far at the edge of the network as you can get — on consumer Internet devices such as laptops and mobile phones.
The software creates a peer-to-peer overlay mesh network that draws on caches of content on end user’s browsers. The software also lets browsers communicate with each other to serve the cached content. “Edgemesh is a client side acceleration platform,” states the company’s website.
“People like that it makes the page load significantly faster,” said Jacob Loveless, CEO of Edgemesh.
Loveless said Edgemesh is especially great for mobile networks because there is a lot of bandwidth capacity within a RAN. “The bandwidth inside a radio area network is amazing, but when you go through transport the mobile provider has to pay for that,” said Loveless. “There’s no such thing as a mobile CDN cache. You’re not going to drop 100 racks of servers on a tower. But two mobile devices communicating peer to peer run at almost the full speed as the radio.”
Before founding Edgemesh, Loveless was CEO of Lucera Financial Infrastructures, a company that provides connectivity software for financial firms. Lucera uses software-defined networking (SDN) for high-demand financial trading platforms.
At Lucera he had seen that east-west traffic within data centers moved fast, and he wanted to leverage the concept for content caching.
“I said ‘man wouldn’t it be cool if you could take this CDN problem and totally do it in software because we had seen the advantages of east-west network traffic,’” said Loveless.
Edgemesh might compete with big CDNs such as Akamai. But more likely, it will be used by enterprises to supplement traditional CDNs.
For instance, the CDN provider Fastly counts the New York Times as a customer. Fastly’s edge cloud platform puts smaller-sized data centers closer to its big customers such as the New York Times. This helps the newspaper deal with huge spikes in traffic. But Edgemesh’s software could further reduce latency, such as the typical bottleneck that occurs each morning when readers are checking out the news.
Edgemesh says its software is fully compatible with all modern browser security and privacy requirements.
Photo inspired by HBO’s series Silicon Valley where a bunch of data ended up getting stored on connected refrigerators.