An Introduction to Personalization

Delivering personalization at scale without compromise

Edge ComputingCompute

How edge serverless arms developers with the right tools to deliver an engaging end-user experience without sacrificing cost, control, or performance.

On this page

Delivering personalization at scale without compromise

How edge serverless arms developers with the right tools to deliver an engaging end-user experience without sacrificing cost, control, or performance.

Every online business understands the need to personalize customer interactions in order to build trust, drive engagement and conversions, and stay competitive. Historically though, personalizing an end-user experience meant putting that experience closer to the end-user and usually without any ability to cache it. This resulted in a slower and more costly experience if the personalized content sat at the origin or central cloud. Additionally, aligning personalization efforts across devops and application development teams has been fraught with operational complexities (e.g., managing different CI/CD pipelines across multiple developer teams all supporting one webpage or app) that have hindered the speed of innovation.

Fastly Compute solves these challenges by offering development teams the tools they need to personalize real-time experiences closer to end users without having to make tradeoffs around cost, control, or performance. Compute offers:

  • Wasm powered tech stack for greater performance, security and developer agility

  • faster edge data to unlock powerful personalization use cases

  • a global edge network to instantly deploy personalized experiences at scale

  • expert support teams who ideate, collaborate, and communicate every step of the way

WASM powered

Fastly’s platform architecture and our implementation of WebAssembly (wasm) simplifies development by abstracting away the need to manage application servers and other infrastructure. This is taken care of behind the scenes where Wasm acts as a middle framework between what developers create and deploying it on our network. Once the code is compiled in Wasm, it ensures it will be safe and ready for multi-tenant usage. 

Because real-time personalization requires ultra low latencies and heightened security, it is important to highlight the following benefits of Fastly’s implementation of Wasm:

  • FAST: We built our own compiler and runtime to achieve startup times in under 50 microseconds

  • SECURE: Every request runs in isolation. By creating and destroying a sandbox for each request, we protect customers from side-channel attacks and reduce the attack surface area.  

  • SCALABLE: Wasm also allows developers to run complex code in microseconds across multiple environments.

These benefits allow DevOps teams to create a more performant environment for their app developers to innovate, and where apps are delivered faster and safer, resulting in greater customer satisfaction and increased revenue.

personalization image 1

Fastly’s Compute is faster and more secure because every request runs in isolation.

Fast edge data

The ability to store and leverage data is critical to support advanced use cases like real-time personalization. Ultra low latency data access makes this possible and can be accomplished at global scale with Fastly’s edge platform. 

Fastly allows developers to apply complex logic at the edge with our edge data solutions while also maintaining an ease of operation, making it easy to get started and simple to grow over time. In addition, our edge data solutions (Config Store, KV Store, Secret Store) remove data location obstacles by making critical data available everywhere.  They were designed to be shareable and low friction by default allowing developers to add complexity to their workflows without impacting performance, and to reduce costs by moving or replicating data to our global edge. 

Below is an example showing how Fastly’s edge data solutions can be leveraged to support a real-time personalization use case. 

Personalization image 2

Ecommerce real-time personalization

Global scale

With Compute, application data and logic are moved from the central cloud to the Fastly edge, closer to end users. Our platform sits between an organizations’ origin servers and its end-users to ensure that every request and response is fast and safe.  DevOps teams can also instantly deploy personalized experiences and scale them globally without having to manage clusters, workloads, or multiple deployments. This reduces set up times and configuration costs.

Personalization image 3

Fastly Global Edge Network

Expert support

From whiteboard sessions and hackathons to help map out the personalization use case to conducting proof of concepts and deployment, Fastly support teams help organizations of all sizes, every step of the way.  It’s a partnership that we take very seriously. Here is what some of our customers had to say:

  • “Fastly’s support team was responsive and helpful; they were a huge part of the success of the launch.” - Zack Tollman, Lead Engineer, Wired

  • “As soon as we engaged Fastly, we had our own dedicated support engineer there. Fastly has definitely raised the bar in terms of support, and other providers have not been able to meet that level of service.” - Jack Wood, CIO, Wayfair


Organizations doing personalization at the edge with Fastly enjoy the following benefits:

  • Engaging end-user experience that builds loyalty and trust

  • Revenue growth from increased engagement and conversions

  • Cost savings from reduced egress, fewer trips back to origins, and simplified development

  • Competitive advantage from greater developer velocity and instant global deploys

  • Heightened levels of security with per-request sandboxing enabled by Fastly’s Wasmtime compiler

Interested in learning more?

Download the full Fastly Compute Use Cases series to learn more.

Web Page
Fastly’s Developer Hub

Developer platforms, editors, tools, language communities, open source foundations, payment services, APIs. You name it. The tools you use, use Fastly.

Analyst Report
Forrester New Wave™: Edge Development Platforms

In The Forrester New Wave™: Edge Development Platforms, Q4 2021, Fastly’s Compute@Edge was named one of only two leaders in the category.

Supercharging your platform

Hear how tech and trust combine to power the new era of edge computing.

Web Page
Try Compute for free

Fastly’s Compute@Edge empowers you to build high-scale, globally distributed applications and execute code at the edge — without having to manage the underlying infrastructure.

Meet a more powerful global network.

Our network is all about greater efficiency. With our strategically placed points of presence (POPs), you can scale on-demand and deliver seamlessly during major events and traffic spikes. Get the peace of mind that comes with truly reliable performance — wherever users may be browsing, watching, shopping, or doing business.

336 Tbps

Edge network capacity1

150 ms

Mean purge time2

>1.8 trillion

Daily requests served4

~90% of customers

Run Next-Gen WAF in blocking mode3

As of March 31, 2024

As of December 31, 2019

As of March 31, 2021

As of July 31, 2023

Ready to get started?

Get in touch.