Challenging the CDN heirarchy from a new angle, EdgeCast today sharpened its aim at the enterprise acceleration market and unveiled EdgeCast Transact. It's a dedicated, purpose-built solution aimed at large retailers and the increasingly specialized needs of high volume e-commerce.
The new network is based on their existing CDN technology, but built on an entirely separate network infrastructure tuned specifically for the site acceleration and transaction needs of online retail sites. In other words, it's aimed at enterprises tired of sharing a least-common-demoninator fast lane with everything from cute cat videos to gaming updates to whatever it is kids listen to these days.
Spending the millions necessary to build a completely separate CDN infrastructure in an industry whose cost structure is governed by scale is an eye-opening shift. Will having it give them additional pricing power in a very competitive segment of the market? I'd say it will if it does in fact give them an extra boost in reliable performance, since in online commerce these days every millisecond of attention span means real money.
For the past year, EdgeCast has been largely talking about the opportunity to work with network operators, with two more partnerships this spring (TELIN, Teliasonera). But they've obviously got more than one prong to the attack on Akamai's ongoing dominance of the sector.