Compute + Edge Messaging? Introducing Fanout

Technology changes fast – as do user expectations around their online experiences. Users are increasingly demanding real-time or live online experiences – from online gaming and stock trading to social media and messaging apps – all instantaneously tailored to their preferences and needs.

Edge computing is meeting those demands, by shifting data and compute power closer to the end user. Fastly’s Compute allows you to build high scale, globally distributed applications and execute code at the edge. And Edge Messaging takes that a step further as the foundation of live online experiences.

What happens when you marry these new expectations with edge messaging capabilities? We’re excited to announce Fastly’s Fanout – now available in Limited Availability. Fastly Fanout, a pub/sub style message built on Fastly infrastructure, operates in the Edge Messaging space. 

Here’s how Gartner defines Edge Messaging:

“Edge messaging aims to provide reliable event distribution between devices and data centers — both from the device to the data center and from the data center to the device. It is delivered as a localized service within an application domain, lending itself to federated ownership.”

Adding this type of functionality on top of Fastly's edge makes Fastly one of the largest real-time data delivery networks in the world!

What does Fanout enable you to build?

Fastly Fanout is a versatile solution that can solve a large number of use cases. When thinking of low latency event distribution, the following comes to mind:

  • Tracking a delivery driver’s GPS location on a map.

  • Cross-device multiplayer gameplay.

  • 1:1 and group chat apps.

  • Receiving instant sports updates for events.

  • Simultaneously working on an interface design with a colleague using Figma.

  • Collaborating in the same Google Doc with colleagues.

But that is far from everything Fastly Fanout can do! During the Beta program, a number of customers found success with Fanout for their real-time use cases including: 

  • IOT. Globally deployed sensors sending signals bi-directionally to their home sensors when not on their local network. 

  • Edge connectivity. Maintaining persistent connections with Edge servers for two-way communication.

  • Simplification. Reducing data center footprint by removing WebSockets servers and eliminating the need to resize servers based on infrequent peaks. 

  • Livestream ticker. Adding a viewer count to events that are being live streamed.

Clearly, there are countless ways Fanout can help solve your business needs, as well as many possible user journeys. If your application is already using a Fanout-aware framework such as django-eventstream, you can enable Fanout without writing any new code. If you are already using Pushpin on your own server, you can move to Fanout without code changes. And if you are brand new to Fanout, you can get started using an SDK in your preferred language. We have SDKs for JS, Python, PHP, Ruby, Java, Go, and .NET. Learn more about the pub/sub style components of Fanout and how it all works here including starter kits.

The future of business

Combining the power of Edge Compute and Edge Messaging is the future of real time data delivery. And real-time data delivery and live online experiences are the future of business. 

With Fastly, you can provide all those experiences – in a way that is fast, safe, and engaging. With use cases spanning nearly every sector of business, Fanout has the ability to transform your business to create more engaging products for your customers.

Ready to get started with Fanout? Navigate to the Fastly Compute service that you wish to enable Fanout on and then start your 30 day free trial today in the Fastly UI!

Ashley Vassell
Product Manager

3 min read

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Ashley Vassell
Product Manager

Ashley Vassell is a Product Manager at Fastly working on the Infrastructure Services team focused on expanding real-time capabilities on Fastly’s Edge Cloud Platform, as well as improving performance and reliability. She also leads Blackly, one of Fastlys ERGs. In her free time, she enjoys eating pizza and surrounding herself with animals.

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