The Edge

Limelight sees 'tremendous' interest in edge computing launch

Limelight Networks, which operates a content delivery network (CDN) for online streaming video, is planning to launch its edge computing service sometime during the second quarter. And the company has high hopes for the service.

"It is generating a tremendous amount of customer interest," Limelight CEO Bob Lento said of the company's recently announced EdgeFunctions service during Limelight's quarterly conference call with analysts, according to a Seeking Alpha transcript of his remarks.

"Limelight EdgeFunctions is a serverless compute platform that empowers you to innovate to craft more compelling user experiences with your content and gain greater control of its delivery by running your code at the network edge," the company boasts on its website, noting that the offering is suited for streaming video and content delivery use cases such as personalized streaming, access control and compliance, dynamic ad insertion, A/B testing and more.

Limelight is one of a wide range of companies – ranging from Amazon to EdgeMicro – hoping to cash in on the push toward edge computing. By moving cloud computing resources physically closer to users, edge computing hopes to make online services ranging from video game streaming to virtual reality virtually instantaneous.

Indeed, Limelight has high hopes for the space. "I think that the edge TAM [total addressable market] is much larger than the CDN TAM," CFO Sajid Malhotra. "If this is not a $100 million business three, four, five, years from now then I think we would have missed something. I mean that's kind of – we are setting this up to be an equal leg at some point to the base business that we have and that's what the opportunity is."

For roughly a decade Limelight has operated as a traditional CDN, but it moved into edge computing in 2018 via a partnership with Ericsson.

Limelight in its most recent quarter reported revenue of $57 million, up 32% from its year-ago quarter. The company attributed the rise in part due to increases in streaming video related to COVID-19 – Limelight, like rival Akamai, notched traffic increases of roughly 30% due to the pandemic – though Limelight said its financial boost was offset by the fact that it didn't stream any live events like March Madness.

Moreover, Limelight's management argued that the company expects to "grow revenues in the double digits on a sustained basis" and reach the $300 million-mark in annual revenues by 2023 – a year ahead of Wall Street analyst expectations.

Mike Dano, Editorial Director, 5G & Mobile Strategies, Light Reading | @mikeddano

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