Fastly lands $40M to hire new staff and build out more internet access points worldwide

Fastly, a content delivery network (CDN) startup, has raised a $40 million Series C funding round, it plans to announce on Tuesday. With the cash, the startup wants to hire more engineers and build more points-of-presence (POP) locations — access points to the internet — across the globe.

Currently, [company]Fastly[/company] maintains 17 POP locations and plans are in the works to add another eight in places like Seattle, Brazil, Stockholm, South Africa and Taiwan.

Earlier this summer, I had a chance to talk with Fastly’s CEO Artur Bergman, who explained how the company takes a software-centric approach to content delivery and can help companies improve their applications. While many people think of CDNs like Akamai or Limelight as only being responsible for improving the delivery of streaming media, CDNs can also benefit enterprises in boosting the performance of everyday IT or software development tasks.

For example, companies that use [company]Splunk[/company] or [company]Sumologic[/company] to record and analyze log files — the data that details application activity — can hook up those tools to Fastly so that the log files generated by the CDN throughout its various POPs can be funneled into those tools in real time, thus giving them a better understanding of how their application is performing over the globe.

“Traditionally, the CDN has always been a black box,” said Bergman. “We treat it much more like a SaaS (software as a service).”

Configuring logging options for Fastly

Configuring logging options for Fastly

In a recent story I wrote about how companies use a core and pod setup in their data centers for better performance and efficiency, Fastly shared how its use of a core and pod system coupled with some software tweaks has helped the startup stream content quicker to users in addition to saving the company cash by not having to buy excess hardware like load balancers or routing gear. In short, Fastly was able to customize the software that powers its [company]Arista[/company] switches and modified them to handle additional tasks, like load balancing and network routing.

“We took these machines, simplified everything, and wrote code and focused them toward our needs specifically,” said Fastly VP of technology Hooman Beheshti.

Fastly has also made a name for itself in the CDN space by loading up servers in its data centers with solid-state-drives (SSD) as a way to improve load times for its clients; its cache servers come packed with 18 terabytes of SSD storage and 768 gigabytes of RAM.

IDG Ventures was a new investor to this funding round, joining prior investors August Capital, Battery Ventures, O’Reilly AlphaTech Ventures, and Amplify Partners.