• Kat Pratley

Spotlight: Assessing the CDN capabilities of Cloud Application Platform Services

Gartner’s latest Solution Criteria/Scorecard research for cloud application platform services (CAPS) includes a set of 114 criteria to assess public or private cloud providers offering application platform services. The criteria provide a consistent method for evaluating cloud service providers, who can be inconsistent in their support of enterprise requirements such as platform APIs and declarative formats, private networking, and global availability of services.

There are seven categories of criteria that are used to assess cloud application platform services from different providers. One category focuses on application development, testing, and deployment. In this blog post, I will spotlight two criteria within this category – CDN and Compute at Edge/CDN.

A content delivery network (CDN) is a globally distributed network of nodes that caches content and delivers it to an end-user in an optimized fashion from an edge location.


CDN support is defined by Gartner as a required or essential capability when evaluating a cloud application platform service. For a cloud service provider to meet this requirement they must:

  • Offer a CDN that supports both HTTP and HTTPS with custom domains

  • Offer the ability to deliver content via HTTP/2 or HTTP/3 to clients that support HTTP/2, while communicating with the origin via HTTP/1.1

  • Have edge locations in a minimum of 10 countries and 30 cities, including presences in all geographies (North America, Latin America, Europe, the Middle East, and Asia/Pacific, including at least one Australia location)

  • Have a CDN that supports any content origin (including origins outside the cloud provider) and have simple integration with the provider’s object storage service

Compute at Edge/CDN support is defined by Gartner as a preferred, or necessary but not vital capability when evaluating a cloud application platform service. For a cloud service provider to meet this preference they must:

  • Provide the ability to execute compute functions at the CDN or edge layer using the same programming model as their functions as a service implementation

  • Be supported in a minimum of 10 countries and 30 cities, including presences in all geographies (North America, Latin America, Europe, the Middle East, and Asia/Pacific, including at least one Australia location)

When selecting a platform, the cloud provider’s CDN service should meet at least all the required capabilities listed above. Ideally, the cloud provider should also meet the preferred capabilities listed.

Gartner’s Solution Scorecard data for cloud application platform services can be viewed within Cloud Decisions. Scorecard data includes an assessment of CDN support (as well as other criteria) available in services from Amazon Web Services (AWS), Google Cloud Platform (GCP), and Microsoft Azure.

You can also test CDN network performance for these vendors within Cloud Harmony.




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