StackPath launched its EdgeEngine platform that allows developers to use serverless computing technology to run code at the cloud’s edge. That means the code does not require a server, virtual machine (VM), or container.
The platform is intended to be a faster, more secure, and cost-effective way for customers to deploy services to the edge. Developers only need to upload their own code, which is then automatically deployed to the edge in an isolated runtime environment. This allows developers to work in a familiar environment and provides for a more secure deployment model.
Gabler described EdgeEngine as a way to further abstract hardware from the developer. He said this is done in a way that is similar to Amazon Web Services (AWS) Lambda or Cloudflare. Lambda is AWS’ serverless computing platform. Cloudflare recently integrated its Workers product into the Serverless framework.
“For IoT it’s really about filtering out the garbage so that the network knows what it can deal with at the edge and what it needs to send back to the core,” Gabler said.
Gabler said the security angle was perhaps the most important aspect of EdgeEngine. “We are really providing a secure ring around an organization’s original content at the tip of the internet,” he said.
EdgeEngine will provide the foundation for more robust additions the company will start rolling out on top of the platform. Gabler said this will include decoupling EdgeEngine from other StackPath products so it can be consumed as a standalone product.
The platform joins a number of recent initiatives to use serverless and container technologies in edge deployments. These are typically focused on reducing the resource footprint of applications running in those edge environments that can sometimes be constrained due to isolated locations.
AT&T, for instance, last month launched its Edgility initiative with Cloudify. It’s described as a “use case” that can be deployed along with Akraino, the Linux Foundation’s open source edge project, or Open Network Automation Platform (ONAP), a Linux Foundation project developed to help carriers to automate, design, orchestrate, and manage services and virtual functions.
Edgility allows an operator to introduce a serverless functionality to manage the network resources so that only applications that need certain network resources like power and capacity are using them. If an application doesn’t use certain resources, they are reallocated.
Recent StackPath Re-Branding
The EdgeEngine launch also continues StackPath’s re-branding effort that kicked off in July. Gabler said that move was to consolidate recent acquisitions into a single platform dubbed StackPath 2.0.
StackPath was founded by Lance Crosby in 2015. Crosby had previously sold SoftLayer to IBM for $2 billion in 2013. SoftLayer became the basis for IBM Cloud. StackPath quickly raised $150 million in funding and emerged from stealth as a security-as-a-service provider in 2016.
The company’s servers have 72 processing cores, a terabyte of RAM, 40 terabytes of SSD memory, and support for 100G connectivity per server. It also makes its own rack switches using merchant silicon and own network operating system.
StackPath reported more than 1 million customers and nearly $200 million in revenue for 2017.