2020 TL;DR

2020 was a tough year for us all, but Edge has continued to move forward. From the introduction of the Edge Console early in the year, to the continued high pace of development (9,107 commits 💪), we’ve been flat out #BUIDLing.

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Edge is now active in 82 countries. We’ve served hundreds of billions of requests in the mainnet; provided 51 written technology & project updates; delivered multiple releases of API, Edit, CDN and DNS; and have evolved Stargate, Gateway and Host beyond recognition, with core services now fully network native.

🔗The Year in Review

2020 has been a tough year full of unexpected challenges for everyone, either financially, emotionally or both.

For Edge it meant a significant shift in business, with a series of large-scale in plan engagements cancelled on the back of the rapidly changing landscape. A few members of our team contracted COVID-19, and one of my business partners was taken seriously ill. But we rolled with the punches, reshaping and refocusing the business, continuing to push forward to deliver on the vision of the Edge network.

It’s been a challenging year on a personal level as well. Like most of us, I’ve been locked up at home for months and unable to travel to visit family. Fortunately as a business we’ve been a remote team since inception back in 2013 (https://www.theguardian.com/small-business-network/2015/oct/15/flexible-working-pragmatic-entrepreneurs-employees-productivity), so we’re very well versed in remote working. But even so, going from ten+ flights a year and three+ days of face-to-face meetings a week to none at all has been a pretty radical change.

Of course we remain in the midst of a pandemic. But it won’t last forever. And with luck we can take the positives that come from the experience (increased technical literacy, reduction in emissions and the acceptance of remote working) forward with us.

It’s so hard to summarise what the team have accomplished this year. And it feels like yesterday that I posted the 2019 TL;DR (https://edge.network/en/updates/network/2019-tldr/).

Since then I’ve written 51 weekly updates, charting the year in development terms in real time.

Here are a few of my highlights:

  • Moving API to version 6, aligning it directly with the network’s codebase
  • The introduction of Edge Console
  • The launch of subscriptions for CDN, enabling end to end service delivery and payment within Console
  • The development of disk cache and lightning cache for Gateway
  • The development of cache recovery, a feature that persists the cache on Gateway to disk, enabling reindexing on reload
  • Moving away from Consul in the main to a network native solution for device management
  • The success of early stage testing and POC for Edge Storage
  • The addition of Gif support to CDN 💃
  • Being a finalist in the 2020 Network Computing Awards, alongside Dell, Hitachi and IBM

Is that all? No, not really… 😅

  • The addition of a world of image manipulation functionality to CDN (see https://edge.network/en/content-delivery/documentation/ for a full breakdown)
  • The addition of the info command to Edge CLI
  • The addition of Mime type detection in CDN
  • The addition of audio support in CDN
  • Hitting 25 million image transformations in month with CDN
  • The introduction of stake management within Console (https://edge.network/en/updates/announcements/managing-stakes-with-edge-cli/)
  • The introduction of real time telemetry in the network over a proprietary data channel
  • The addition of full support for Etag headers
  • The addition of cache invalidation to CDN
  • The addition of the ability to edit distributions in the network
  • The completion of the specification for an “eventually synchronised” database layer in the network
  • Huge performance improvements across the stack (85% increases in delivery speed)
  • Hitting 50 million image transformations in month with CDN
  • The addition of a payment gateway to the Edit.com platform
  • The introduction of cancellation requests to the job queue on Gateway
  • The introduction of the watch service to Edge CLI, enabling the viewing of job performance on an individual Host device
  • Moving the MacOS version of Host in to Alpha testing
  • The introduction of adaptive queue sizing to Gateway
  • The creation of a network native routing solution for Stargate
  • The creation of an email sending service within the network (Edge Mailer)
  • Moving to live with a series of new DC partners to strengthen the network backbone
  • The completion of the specification for Edge Functions
  • The introduction of circular Payload Validation, which has Gateway periodically testing for expected responses from Host devices
  • Hitting 100 million image transformations in month with CDN
  • Getting new subnets approved by RIPE to enable broader peering arrangements to be made
  • Supporting Cookalong TV through 25 live streamed celebrity events in support of charity
  • +much more!

Not to mention the wonderful work that we’ve done in support of customers and partners like Tiipr, Monocle, BOL, Leo Burnett and many others…

And all this while fixing hundreds of bugs, giving the best support we could and maintaining network uptime at 100%.

🔗The $EDGE Token

The end of March saw the announcement of our partnership with the TNC Group. This included a swap of the Edge token for a group coin, a proposition designed to provide liquidity, unlock near-term value and support the reissue of $EDGE with new contracts and greater reach. The partnership was also designed to bring complementary skill sets together and to cross pollinate ideas.

Whilst the original idea for a large-scale M&A programme in crypto is ambitious and has merit, the delays in execution have been very difficult to navigate, and have put a lot of pressure on community relations. It is important to stress that the Edge team recognises this and shares the frustration.

The Edge Network needs a liquid token to operate and to drive growth in capacity. The delays with unlock harm the network, which is demonstrable in the reduction of connected devices. These pressures will only increase as we push forward with business growth.

That said, we see the delays as an aside to the journey of Edge, and the team is prepared for the reissue of the token.

🔗What’s in store for 2021

We founded Edge to uphold the founding principles of the Web through the democratisation of computational power. We’ve made great technological strides towards this, with an ecosystem that enables participation in the value generation of cloud computing.

As we move through 2021 and bring additional core services online, we hope to be able to bring much more of the vision for Edge to life.

You can see the full current roadmap for the project here:

https://github.com/edge/roadmap

Highlights:

  • Completing the replacement of Consul
  • Edge Storage moving to public beta
  • The full automation of Staking
  • Automating crypto payments
  • +much, much more besides

I want to take a moment to focus on Edge Storage. It makes up a significant part of our roadmap for the year, with the expectation that we will be moving to a public beta.

Storage in the network is radically different to existing storage solutions in market. It’s not a disk rental solution or a marketplace for individuals to sell their capacity one to one. It’s a service layer that makes use of the capacity in Host devices, automating device and capacity negotiation. There is no concept of a single file in the network; rather the network orchestrates the break up and distribution of files across hundreds of devices. Objects stored in the network are all fully encrypted, and can be encrypted with your own keys if you wish. This is similar in approach to crypto wallets, providing a completely secure and highly redundant storage solution. And of course, because it runs in the spare capacity of the devices all around us, it’s radically better for the environment than traditional and competing solutions.

🔗Finally, a thank you

Edge is the world’s first edge network, and is at the cutting edge of developments in cloud computing. 2020 was a difficult but important year. We’re very excited for 2021.

A huge thank you to the entire Edge team for keeping keeping on 🙏, and to our community for sticking with us. Your ongoing support means a huge amount to the entire team. Thank you for being part of our journey.

There’s a lot in store for 2021 👀

In the meantime here’s to a fantastic New Year ❤️

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