Tech

Fastly and Cloudflare brawl in the serverless blogosphere

Content delivery contender Fastly has come out swinging at rival Cloudflare.

This story starts with a November 21 post from Cloudflare in which it compared the performance of its “Workers” – a serverless offering – to Fastly’s rival [email protected] product.

In what will come as a colossal surprise to nobody, Cloudflare found its product vastly superior to its rival’s. One hundred and ninety-six per cent faster, to be precise.

Fastly has now rebutted Cloudflare’s assertions and – brace for another big non-surprise – found its own serverless stuff outstrips Cloudflare’s offering.

Fastly’s argument for its assertion boils down to “Cloudflare cheated”.

The offended contender reckons Cloudflare made a “biased choice of test locations,” didn’t consider that JavaScript for [email protected] platform is in beta and used a free account – which has limited capacity by design.

Cloudflare’s decision to run tests in a single hour, on a single day, was criticised for not being a real-world test. Fastly also reckons the description of Cloudflare’s test code was nonsensical and the chosen test wasn’t a good way to exercise [email protected] in any meaningful way.

Interestingly, Fastly’s post includes the pro-forma disclosure that the document “contains ‘forward-looking’ statements” – verbiage usually present on documents that have the potential to sway investment decisions. The Register has reviewed Fastly’s blog posts for November and cannot find another with the disclosure, suggesting the company has concerns that this contretemps with Cloudflare is more than usually significant.

Blog fights of this sort were big in the mid-2000s, when storage vendors in particular went at each other with abandon. More recently, Nutanix and VMware have been unafraid of the occasional public brawl. But with much of the rest of the internet turning into a never-ending flame war, the contemporary corporate blogosphere became a calm sea of corp-speak.

Posts like these from Fastly and Cloudflare are the exception. Whether they measurably change buyer behaviour or burnish corporate reputations remains to be seen. ®


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