Heavily cut down from latest article at After reading Peter Offringa’s Deep Dive into Current trends regarding the investment opportunities in Data Base management companies, I reprinted here the information relating to the opportunity and initiatives taken regarding Cloudflare and Fastly.

Data sets and storage solutions will expand. While many investors have been focused on what this means for the analytics platforms, like SNOW, PLTR, AI (OLAP type workloads) there will be a similar acceleration of demand on the transactional side (OLTP).

Me here: In the OLTP Space, MongoDB and then Elastic are winning; but, as most apps ( insert stat here) can now be moved advantageously to the edge new Data,sets and storage purpose built for the edge should grow rapidly.

Edge-compute has huge implications for the transactional data storage market and the opportunity for the edge networks. If they can shift some application compute spend to the edge, then data storage for those applications would follow. This in effect magnifies their opportunity, as both compute and storage services would migrate from the origin hyperscaler offerings to the edge network providers.

To service this need, Cloudflare provides Workers KV, a simple key-value store, and recently announced Durable Objects, which extends storage to stronger consistency among nodes and data sharing between clients. These are meant to be used as the data store for distributed serverless applications built on the Workers platform.

Fastly offers a key-value store as well, called Edge Dictionaries. They are developing a fully distributed data storage solution as part of their Compute@Edge platform, which itself is in limited availability. On a recent podcast on Software Engineering Daily, Fastly’s CTO said that they first wanted Fastly to provide a distributed data service from their POPs. But, they soon realized this would be more relevant to developers if it could be referenced from a compute runtime. This caused them to prioritize building out the runtime first, before tackling the data storage.

A similar data service is offered by Fauna, which is a popular globally distributed, cloud-based data store. It is completely accessible through APIs and meant to be connected to directly by client applications (web or mobile). This future-facing approach to application development and infrastructure is dubbed the Client-serverless architecture. It is similar to the Firebase solution offered by Google. In this case, there is no server-side code runtime. The service just provide data storage.

As customer interactions with enterprises increasingly occur over digital channels, expectations for the quality, performance and personalization of those experiences will continue to rise. Companies will apply the same energy to curate rich and unique customer experiences in their digital channels as they did in physical locations. They won’t be able to install an off-the-shelf software package with little customization and effectively compete. This implies that companies will need to develop bespoke customer experiences to distinguish themselves in a crowded digital marketplace. Every company of the future must become a software builder to win.

As we examine this growth of digital experiences, they are almost all powered by custom software applications. A lot of new apps will need to be written. What Data sets and storage will these new app developers use? My bet is on that which is region specific and made for the edge.

Adoption of Cloudflare’s Workers has been strong. On the Q3 earnings call, Cloudflare’s CEO announced that more than 27,000 developers wrote and deployed their first Cloudflare Worker in the quarter, up from 15,000 in the prior year’s Q3. Cloudflare has been rapidly adding features to the Workers offerings, hosting a stand-alone Serverless Week in late July 2020 and launching a new data storage engine Durable Objects in early October

Fastly, on the other hand, offers a globally distributed, serverless compute runtime through their Compute@Edge offering. With the Q3 earnings report, Fastly announced that Compute@Edge has moved out of beta and into a limited availability status. Access is still limited to a finite set of customers, but does reflect that they are running production workloads on it.

Both Cloudflare and Fastly have evolving edge data storage solutions. For Workers, Cloudflare recently launched Durable Objects. This supplements their prior solution of Workers KV, which provides a distributed, low latency key-value store. Durable Objects takes this a step further, by allowing any set of data to be persisted with guaranteed consistency across requests. Objects can be shared between multiple application clients (users). This consistent and sharable data object storage enables many common use cases for multi-user Internet applications, like chat, collaboration, document sharing, gaming, social feeds, etc.

During the Compute@Edge talk at Fastly’s annual user conference Altitude, speakers made references to a future offering called Data@Edge. While this hasn’t been formally announced by Fastly, we can assume it represents a new distributed data store for use by the serverless runtime. Fastly has a basic local cache available for the existing VCL environment called Edge Dictionaries. Data@Edge would presumably take this to the next level, providing an eventually consistent, distributed data store with a CRUD-like data interface for developers to use

One last note – any conversation about data these days has to include Snowflake. Currently, Snowflake’s focus is primarily around enabling analytics workloads (OLAP) and their user audience is analysts and data scientists. Snowflake wouldn’t be a reasonable choice to drive a transactional data store that consists of a high volume of reads and writes for raw application data (OLTP).

Snowflake management has made it clear that they don’t plan to build add-on services for categories like security or observability themselves. Rather, they want to stay focused on selling compute, storage and data transfer. Even reference architectures in their developer resources section recommend an OLTP data store in front of Snowflake to “provide the application with high-capacity transaction processing.”

Gartner has predicted that by 2025, up to 75% of “enterprise-generated data will be created and processed outside a traditional centralized data center or cloud”. While much of the focus for edge-based distributed application runtimes has been on the compute workload and its migration out of the central data centers, the same trends would apply to data storage. Companies like Cloudflare and Fastly could be the future data storage solution providers</>

Thanks for the above, Peter Offringa