Cloudflare, a provider of a content delivery network (CDN) based on more than 200 data centers, this week announced it has made available a Durable Objects capability in beta that makes it possible to run stateful applications across a distributed serverless Cloudflare Workers service.
Company CEO Matthew Prince said Durable Objects provide a truly unified approach to managing storage and state that ensures low application latency across the CDN service.
Cloudflare this week also launched API Shield, which employs client certificate-based identity and strict schema-based validation using hosted public key infrastructure (PKI) that only allows application programming interfaces (APIs) with known behavior and identities to access the CDN service.
The company also added a Cron Triggers tool that enables IT teams to schedule jobs on Worker nodes rather than always having to make HTTP requests.
Finally, Cloudflare this week added a free Cloudflare Web Analytics tool and a free Cloudflare Radar tool that allows IT teams to view global traffic and security trends across the internet as they happen using data gathered from a network that touches more than 25 million internet properties in more than 100 countries.
As applications become more distributed than ever thanks to the rise of edge computing, there is a growing need to deploy stateful applications that process data closer to where it is generated and consumed. Rather than IT teams having to manually deploy those edge computing platforms, Cloudflare has been making a case for a serverless computing platform that enables IT teams to leverage platforms it manages on their behalf.
A Durable Object, in the case of Cloudflare, is an instance of a class that can be written in any programming language. Each object has a unique identifier and exists in only one location. Any Worker running anywhere in the world that knows the object’s ID can send messages to it. Durable Objects can have persistent state stored on disk. Each object can also maintain a consistent copy of the state in memory to eliminate latency. The in-memory object will be shut down when idle and can be re-created later on-demand.
The Cron Trigger tools provide IT teams with more control over how they consume capacity on the Cloudflare CDN, added Prince.
The Cloudflare CDN ultimately provides a lower-cost alternative to cloud services for deploying edge computing applications that gives IT teams more control over where and when application workloads run, Prince said.
In the age of COVID-19, the days when IT organizations dispatched IT staff to physically install and update physical infrastructure may be coming to an end. There’s no real need to incur the cost or put IT staff at risk of contracting the virus. The issue now is determining whether to employ a cloud service provider or rely on any one of several CDN options that have historically been employed to optimize web applications.
Regardless of the path chosen, the ability to remotely deploy any type of application on IT infrastructure resources has never been greater or easier.