There are many advantages to using a cloud provider: cost, scale, performance, to name but a few. To fully benefit from all the cloud has to offer, however, companies must make sure they are building a complete strategy.
“In short, to build a complete cloud footprint, both edge services and core cloud computing are necessary,” writes Forrester in its report, Make Edge Services An Integral Part Of Your Cloud Strategy. “Edge services are a critical component of a cloud strategy, ensuring resilience through reliability, performance, and security.”
Forrester defines edge services as “a set of technologies used to control and optimize access to Internet-facing assets.” The report was based on a survey of more than 150 edge strategy decision-makers at small and medium-size enterprises.
The report shed light on the need for resilience, as volatility threatens user experience. In fact, nearly 50% of companies experience unplanned downtime at least once per month, while a quarter experience it weekly, according to the report. This downtime is occurring at a time when users have shorter attention spans than ever and demand near perfection from their online experiences.
What was particularly frightening about the Forrester report was, despite the frequency of unplanned downtime, companies are not prepared. More than 50% of companies do not have a technical continuity/security plan, according to the survey. Let me state that again for added emphasis: Nearly half of companies are experiencing monthly downtime, yet more than half don’t have a plan to handle it.
There is hope, however, as nearly a third say they want to build a resilient infrastructure across the Internet. Knowing this, how then do edge services help with resilience?
Since edge technologies affect Internet-facing assets, the edge plays a major role in a company’s ability to execute end-to-end application delivery — i.e., managing performance, resiliency, and security across the connections between users and applications.
This is becoming more difficult as applications and websites continue to increase in scope and scale. Almost 75% of websites and applications are loading over 50 objects, with 11% loading more than 200 objects, according to the report. This creates a great deal of complexity at the edge.
“As applications utilize the Internet as a digital supply chain, any component of their load that is not performing at peak efficiency can impact overall application and website performance,” the Forrester report says. “The need for fast application responses and optimized performance makes these apps and websites strong candidates for edge services.”
This is exactly what good edge services such as managed DNS or web application firewalls do. Additionally, edge services can reduce outages and downtime by monitoring the path between users and resources and making real-time adjustments based on current conditions.
Realizing that the Internet is now part of their business network is one of the reasons companies are prioritizing edge services in an effort to improve performance and increase resilience. Some of the services that companies are investing in include “managing traffic across hybrid cloud, expanding global networks presence, and investing in managed domain name system (DNS) solutions,” according to Forrester.
This investment comes at the right time. Applications have never been more complicated. The Internet has never been more volatile. Customer expectations have never been higher. Investing in edge services, combined with a strong core, is a smart strategy that will allow companies to take advantage of all the cloud has to offer, while also ensuring a secure and highly performant experience for end users.