Opera products help more than 350 million internet consumers discover and connect with the content and services that matter most to them, regardless of device, network, or location. Primarily known for its family of web browsers, Opera delivers products and services to more than 120 operators around the world, enabling them to provide a faster, more economical, and better network experience for their subscribers.
Opera needed to give its global user base the ability to access and download the Opera Browser. Because Opera’s servers are based in Europe, they needed a way to push their content closer to potential users across the world, ensuring those based outside of Europe wouldn’t be frustrated by slow or unsuccessful downloads. They turned to Fastly to strategically cache and instantly update assets across the globe, and for a modern, self-provisioning CDN with an intuitive UI.
“Fastly is the most advanced CDN out there, and it’s clearly light years ahead of competitors when it comes to a modern interface and modern technology.” Espen Myhre, Team Manager
“My experience with Fastly has been great due to many things; its modern technology, its use of Varnish, and the quick setup all helped bring Opera Software to another level.” Espen Myhre, Team Manager
Opera explored various providers, but found other CDNs proved difficult to set up and required going through an account rep to get started. Opera found Fastly easy to get up and running quickly on their own.
“We’d tested other CDNs, and Fastly was definitely the best one in terms of setup. It took me five minutes to have my service up and running. We were able to start testing really quickly, without having to spend months or even weeks getting set up.” Espen Myhre, Team Manager
When Opera does need assistance, they find Fastly’s team helpful, responsive, and extremely proactive, often alerting Opera to issues before they are aware of them.
“When I have a question, I can ping support in IRC and I’ll get help within five minutes. Fastly is also really great about sending out an email when there are some abnormalities on our account, asking us, ‘Is this regular traffic, or are you having a problem?’ Support has done this several times now, and each time it’s been an issue on our end. It shows Fastly really cares.” Espen Myhre, Team Manager
“Fastly did very well caching and serving both large as well as small files. After choosing Fastly, our global conversion rate for the Opera Browser went up significantly. When you have millions of downloads a day, that’s quite substantial.” Espen Myhre, Team Manager
Other CDN vendor performance tends to vary when serving different file sizes; Fastly gives Opera the ability to cache large files, making it easy for users to download their browser as well as access other services. Caching and serving assets from the edge improves performance and ensures that Opera users can access its suite of products quickly, improving conversion globally.
In addition to the Opera Browser, Opera also uses Fastly to cache assets on Opera Discover, a news aggregator with many images that they scale and cache in different sizes; Opera.com; and favicons on Opera Coast, a browser for iPads and iPhones.
When Opera does need to make an update, Instant Purge gives them the ability to refresh content across Fastly’s global network in real time.
“Fastly is simple to use, and updates are both easy and instantaneous. My time is limited, so Instant Purge is a killer feature — it means I don’t have to wait. With other CDNs, we had to wait quite a while for our cache to be purged. With Fastly, it’s 150 milliseconds.” Espen Myhre, Team Manager
Many Opera users are located in Asia and South America — regions which often have poor bandwidth and network connections and are far from Opera’s origin servers in Europe. Fastly helps ensure that those users are not only able to access Opera products, but can do so quickly, regardless of geographic location.
“Fastly increases our speed, and gives our globally distributed customers the ability to actually download our products. Although some of our users may be used to slow load times, if a connection breaks and they have to restart the download from a server based in Europe, it would take forever. Fastly helps ensure users have timely access to our products, no matter their location.” Espen Myhre, Team Manager
Opera relies on Fastly to shield their origin during high-traffic events, such as when they release a new product or version of their browser. Recently they had a problem with one of the software patches they send out to their Browser. The fallback mechanism kicked in, resulting in downloading a full package instead. This huge increase in traffic brought down their secondary CDN. They routed all their traffic through Fastly — which handled it without any issues.
“We ran into some issues with patching, and fixing the issue brought down our other CDN. We reverted 100% of our traffic through to Fastly, and they handled it without a problem.” Espen Myhre, Team Manager
By offloading traffic and improving conversion rates, Fastly has allowed Opera to effectively scale its organization. Instead of paying for additional data centers and associated maintenance, Opera can rely on Fastly for speed, performance, and reliable delivery of its browser.
“Fastly has definitely helped us scale. Before Fastly, we were at the point where we were almost hitting the available bandwidth in our global data centers. We could either scale up ourselves and pay for that — including the maintenance costs that go with it — or choose a CDN. Fastly was the obvious choice.” Espen Myhre, Team Manager