The Future is on the Edge

This year I'm going all in on development where the core part of the application code runs in an edge computing environment

A man standing on cliff, looking at the drop
Much like a looking over the edge of a cliff, The edge of the cloud is a scary proposition.

This is a short post about what edge computing is and why I think it is the future of web development

The edge is a term used to define a place between a user and a traditional data center that is as close to the user as possible. That might be on a CDN point of presence, or a network hub. The purpose is to take the computation as close to the place where its needed as possible.

If you think about traditional cloud hosting, you might have a data center in the US but you users are in Australia. The request has to travel the across the pacific ocean. And if you also have European users, then it still has to get to the US too. Rather than sending the data over such long distances, why don't we ship the code and data to a place that is much closer?

That means we spend a tiny fraction of the time with requests in transit. Thats the core advantage of edge. Fast speeds for everyone.

There are a few downsides though. You have to be able to deploy code to an environment where requests are not co-located as each request may run in a different data center. Thats easy enough if you have mostly stateless services, but if you have SQL database it becomes more challenging. So you need to essentially rethink how you manage data.

Using tools like Cloudflare, FaunaDB, PlanetScale, and others I am hoping to build some really cool products that live solely on the edge.

Follow along for what I hope will be an insightful experience.