What do we believe in at Section

Last year our team gathered at an offsite to consider issues with current CDN providers and the problems with use of global content delivery solutions. We recognized the closed nature of the distributed networks available and at the same time identified the deployment and distribution limitations of the excellent opensource tooling required for content delivery clouds (such as Varnish Cache for HTML caching). These issues lead us to build Section.

At that time we set out 3 key tenets which would guide our decision making at Section.

Recently we gathered the team again to review progress and revisited these tenets to confirm they are still the sticks against which we should measure our decision making as we work to bring a better way for developers to manage content caching and their Varnish Cache Cloud.

We have affirmed these tenets. They rock.

  1. Control

    Website engineers (both Dev and Ops) should have control of their content from the webserver to their customers’ browsers. In practice we have found that selection of a CDN provider or cloud caching solution can obfuscate the view of website engineers as to how their code executes at a users’ browser. Rules based HTML caching, Web Application Firewalls, JavaScript injection and static object caching and distribution can all materially impact web application functionality.

    Engineers should;

    Enjoy a DevOps approach to a content caching cloud CDN solution;

    Be able to maintain control of the application;

    Trust the consistency of the production delivery platform;

    Have predictable outcomes as code moves from development environments through test and to production

  2. Open

    CDN providers today provide closed caching solution networks. While many are built on awesome opensource reverse proxies such as Varnish Cache or ModSecurity, with a few tweaks, they become closed networks of proprietary software.

    Website engineers should have access to the opensource projects with all the community support surrounding them still available. Kibana, Graphite, Tessera, Varnish Cache, Ace Editor. They are all part of a great content caching solution right out of the box.

  3. Easy

    The big one. While the power of the open source components of a cloud content caching solution is immense, the process of putting them all together and then maintaining them in a high availability solution can be daunting. See How To Install Varnish Cache for just the Varnish Cache component for HTML caching (and statics too if you prefer).

    By easy in the context of a CDN provider, we mean… It Just Works…straight out of the box with; Functionality, Scalability, Reliability, Redundancy, Security, Metrics, Diagnostics, Application Development Cycle Integration.

    We believe web engineers should have access to a solution which is

    Fast to get started

    Simple to use

    Rich and Deep in functionality

I am looking forward to the next review of these three Section tenets.

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