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Content delivery & image optimization

Fastly’s edge cloud platform enhances web and mobile delivery by accelerating dynamic assets and caching unpredictably changing content. We transform and serve images faster from the edge, reducing origin traffic and saving on infrastructure and egress costs.

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Faster page loads

Poor web and mobile performance can negatively impact customer conversion and retention rates, SEO, and advertising revenue. Fastly’s edge cloud platform accelerates your web and mobile applications while world-class Dynamic Site Acceleration (DSA) speeds up content delivery. We allow you to keep more in cache for longer and retrieve it quicker for faster page load times. Unique features like Origin Shield and Request Collapsing help ensure a seamless user experience even when you need to clear cache.


Dynamic Site Acceleration

Fastly’s world-class Dynamic Site Acceleration (DSA) speeds up requests and responses between cache nodes in our points of presence (POPs) and your origin server, so your web and mobile content is served faster. We keep connections between cache nodes and your origin open (or “hot”) so traffic can flow without incurring latency penalties for constantly setting up new connections. Our advanced algorithms route traffic along the optimal path between our POPs and your origin.


Small and large object delivery

Our state-of-the-art network allows us to keep more objects in cache for longer and retrieve them quicker for better cache hit ratios. This speeds up delivery of small objects, including images, JavaScript, CSS, as well as JSON and XML. It also improves large object delivery, including large video or audio files. You can offload these large files to our network, significantly reducing the load on your origin servers and lowering your total infrastructure costs.


Origin Shield

As your content catalogue expires or gets invalidated, all subsequent requests need to go back to origin to retrieve the latest version. This can significantly impact performance while adding to the computing resources needed to support these requests.

Fastly’s powerful Origin Shield feature addresses this challenge by designating a specific POP to serve as a “shield” for your origin servers. Using request collapsing, all cache miss requests are consolidated into a single request and held in queue while we fetch the new content. Once the Origin Shield has a copy of the content, it serves any additional requests.

Flexible caching

With Fastly’s edge cloud platform, you can cache unpredictable, frequently changing content that’s uncacheable with traditional CDNs. You can even cache APIs, creating a better experience for mobile app users accessing rapidly changing content like breaking news, weather, or sports scores. With Fastly, Imgur caches every API call for users who aren’t logged in for 60 seconds, allowing them to quickly serve content that’s the same for all users directly from the edge.


Event-driven content

Much of the content served on websites and mobile apps is neither static nor fully dynamic. News headlines, stock prices, weather, and inventory remain static for some period of time and then change unpredictably.

We call this type of content “event-driven,” and Fastly’s edge cloud can cache it because it can be purged instantly. Our Instant Purge feature allows you to cache and invalidate content almost as soon as it’s updated on your origin — within 150 milliseconds across our global network.


Static content

In addition to caching event-driven content, Fastly’s edge cloud excels at caching static content, whether it’s images, JavaScript, CSS, or larger objects like downloads, music, video, or PDF files. Our powerful edge cloud platform allows us to cache more objects for longer and retrieve them faster. You’ll achieve better cache hit ratios, translating to quicker response times and downloads for your web and mobile users.

Instant Purge

Instant Purge lets you update stale content within 150 milliseconds or less. When you issue a purge request, our servers stop delivering cached versions of that content. Once a visitor to your site requests the purged content, we retrieve an updated copy from your origin server and serve it as soon as it’s live on your web server. You can trigger Instant Purge using the Fastly control panel, or via an API call.


Surrogate keys

Many websites are made of millions of interrelated objects, making it challenging to update all related content. Fastly surrogate keys allow you to fine-tune purging by tagging related objects across your site with a key name and description and purge by that key. You can purge your entire site of these objects at once without a performance hit. Purge full classes or libraries of objects, such as all images and content related to sale items, discontinued products, or outdated news content across your site.


Soft Purge

Fastly’s Soft Purge feature allows you to mark content as outdated or slightly stale, instead of permanently removing it from cache. This ensures good user experiences even if your origin server goes down or takes longer than usual to update.

Instead of showing an error message, you can configure your content to serve stale-if-error or stale-while-revalidate. With stale-while-revalidate, the first person requesting a page after purging receives slightly outdated content, while your page is being refreshed in the background.

Image optimization

Fastly offers a real-time image manipulation and delivery service. Built on our powerful edge cloud platform, the Fastly Image Optimizer allows you to transform and serve images at the edge, closer to your users. We eliminate offline image pre-processing tasks and drastically speed up delivery. You get pixel-perfect, bandwidth-efficient images optimized for different user devices and web browsers. Caching multiple images at the edge also reduces traffic to origin, resulting in significant cost savings.

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Transform   serve images faster

Transform & serve images faster

Fastly Image Optimizer allows you to offload image transformation to our powerful edge cloud platform. When an image is requested, we resize it, adjust quality, crop / trim, change orientations, convert formats, and more on demand. Transforming images at the edge eliminates latency by reducing the number of requests back to origin.

Fastly also serves images faster, decreasing page load times for image-heavy sites. Our high-density points of presence (POPs) hold more content for longer periods of time, so we can instantly serve millions of variations of images from cache.

reduce cost 2

Reduce costs

With Fastly Image Optimizer, you can simultaneously reduce costs and improve productivity. Eliminate the need to manage expensive image transformation applications and servers at your origin. Save on storage costs by simply storing one source file and generating the optimal image for each profile on demand, at the edge. Lower egress costs by caching more at the edge and reducing requests to origin.

Our Image Optimizer service is an easy add-on. Using our full-featured API you can integrate it seamlessly into your existing Fastly workflow, rules, and conditions. Get up and running the same day, with minimal modifications to your existing configuration.

better insights and control

Better insights and control

Fastly exposes real-time logs and analytics, giving you granular insight into which optimizations are working and which aren’t. We also offer self-serve configurations, enabling you to tweak transformation rules yourself over time for the highest quality user experience.

Our control capabilities don’t stop there. Instant Purge invalidates content globally in 150ms, guaranteeing only the most up-to-date images are served. And with surrogate keys, you can group and tag images with identifiers to easily invalidate all associated images.

logic at the edge

Powerful edge logic

With Fastly Image Optimizer you no longer need to worry about defining rules for every visitor’s profile. Using our built-in Varnish Configuration Language (VCL), you can offload image transformation logic to our edge cloud platform. Detect visitor attributes like device and geolocation at the edge for faster image transformation decisions. For example, you can automatically send users a WebP image when you detect they are using Google Chrome.