Marfeel was founded in 2011 by a former Adobe engineer who came up with a way to improve the user experience of digital publications. The company has since expanded and improved on their concept, now counting 160 employees and 850 news and entertainment editors around the globe.

Marfeel is a leader in adtech innovation and programmatic advertising technology, providing their customers – publishers of all kinds – with an adtech platform that allows them to create, optimize and monetize their media while offering the best possible user experience to their readers. To avoid introducing a cost to its customers, the company created an advertising stack with a revenue sharing model to support customers in their monetization efforts.

As a result, they experimented with all the latest advances in network architecture, user interfaces and technology to determine whether to incorporate them into their products and services.
Industry: Adtech
Location: Barcelona, Spain
Customer since: 2017

Favorite features
Fastly CDN
Edge cloud

The challenge of delivering a great mobile experience

From its inception, Marfeel has sought to provide the best solutions for the information delivery layer of the web. Probably not such a complex endeavor today, this was quite difficult to achieve over a decade ago, when the company first started offering their services. At the time, communications were slow and the end-user experience left much to be desired when traditional approaches were applied.
When a user connected to a customer’s website from a mobile device, it took a very long time for the mobile version to be displayed after a request had been sent.
Communications were sluggish and deliveries involved multiple steps, resulting in significant networking costs.

The solution: bringing decision logic to the edge to improve responsiveness

To speed up load times, Marfeel identified the need for a CDN and adopted an active one, which changed the situation for the better, but was still not quite enough. In 2017, the company had already reached a point of maturity at which they started looking into switching CDN providers to take their business further. Fastly allowed them to deploy business logic at the edge – the closest point of the network to the user’s device.

As part of that approach, Marfeel asked customers who decided to adopt the new solution to route all of their traffic via Fastly instead of targeting the company’s own infrastructure, and to make decisions there. The result: a reduction of load times above 10 seconds to just a few milliseconds.

Marfeel’s previous CDN didn’t provide the required reduction of origin load. While reducing overall traffic volumes, a tenth of all requests received at the edge still ended up being forwarded to the origin server.

With Fastly, significantly higher request volumes at the edge are no longer a limiting factor as the origin load remains constant.

Marfeel also used Fastly's Origin Shield, enabling the company to put multiple levels of Fastly infrastructure in front of their origins. As a result, Marfeel didn’t have to scale up their origin capacity despite a growing customer base (although they would have been able to). This setup enabled them to consistently keep their own infrastructure to a minimum despite increasing traffic volumes while keeping hit ratios and quality high.

Being the first point of contact for end users is a big responsibility

For Marfeel, taking control of the layer that ultimately communicates with their end customers was a game changer as it allowed them to provide a better experience. But, at the same time, it also implied a great responsibility since managing their customers’ first impact was now in Marfeel’s hands. Thanks to the high level of confidence in the services provided by Fastly, Marfeel felt comfortable enough to take on this responsibility. All this has enabled the company to do things that either had to be done at the edge or couldn’t have been done at all.

Another advantage of taking greater control was the improved observability. The fact that Marfeel’s engineering team can now trace things down to the smallest detail has allowed the company to offer an outstanding service with all the guarantees. They are now in a position to find out why and when a request is causing a user trouble. Developers receive such information in real time, allowing them to flag requests for subsequent investigation and debugging.

Fastly’s global POP network accelerates responses from multiple access points

Marfeel knew from the outset that they were targetting a global market, and one of the most frequently asked questions in negotiations with new customers was about the CDN they were usingand the quality of service they were able to offer in specific countries. As soon as customers heard that Marfeel were working with Fastly, any performance-related doubts vanished and the conversation moved on to other aspects of the project.

Providing great customer service requires receiving a great service from your provider

The technical dialog between Fastly and Marfeel has always been direct and from engineer to engineer, which has facilitated an excellent understanding of each other’s requirements.

Marfeel first approached Fastly with a very specific use case and, at the time, most CDNs didn’t allow their customers to deploy their own logic within their edge infrastructure. The company worked hand in hand with Fastly’s engineers to define the blueprint of the project.

Fastly’s solutions have enabled Marfeel to easily automate and deliver their services to their customers within the confines of the company’s existing infrastructure. This allows Marfeel to change the configuration of its 1.000 customers in a fully automated fashion and in no time at all. In the words of Marfeel’s Director of Infrastructure: “viewed from the outside, [rolling out changes] almost seems like magic”.

“What caught our attention was the fact that even the early Varnish-based versions of Fastly allowed us to shift logic to the edge. This revolutionized the user experience on mobile devices.”

Joan Tomàs-Buliart
Director of Infrastructure at Marfeel

“As far as service continuity is concerned, having a CDN like Fastly has really helped us improve availability.”

Joan Tomàs-Buliart
Director of Infrastructure at Marfeel

“The rich programming options provided by Varnish enable us to see exactly what’s going on. When a particular request is causing a customer trouble, it’s easy to find out why and when this is happening.”

Joan Tomàs-Buliart
Director of Infrastructure at Marfeel

“One of the great advantages of Fastly is that we no longer have to talk about CDNs with our customers. When they ask us what CDN we use and we say ‘Fastly’, the conversation immediately shifts to other topics.”

Joan Tomàs-Buliart
Director of Infrastructure at Marfeel

“The level of technical dialog is fantastic. Some of our requirements weren’t part of Fastly’s roadmap, but once we had explained them to Fastly from engineer to engineer, along with relevant use cases and the value they would bring, Fastly ended up introducing the corresponding features.”

Joan Tomàs-Buliart
Director of Infrastructure at Marfeel

Ready to get started?

Get in touch or create an account.