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Netlify chose Deno Subhosting for its edge functions product.

How Netlify used Deno Subhosting to build a successful edge functions product

Key stats:

  • 255m
    requests handled by Netlify Edge Functions per day
  • 22k
    new Netlify Edge Functions deployed per day

Netlify, a leading Composable Web Platform, successfully launched edge functions powered by Deno Subhosting to enable advanced website customizations. Adoption has since grown rapidly, including among major Fortune 500 companies. Learn how Deno Subhosting allowed Netlify to expand their product lineup in a matter of weeks vs. months.

Netlify is a leading Composable Web Platform that was looking for a way to allow its users to further customize their websites. In 2020, Netlify launched Edge Handlers to enable users to personalize content on their websites by executing custom code at the edge. However, that solution failed to provide the best-in-class developer experience that Netlify was associated with, and didn’t integrate well with today’s modern web frameworks.

The challenge

Netlify needed to add fully featured, modern, serverless compute with a world-class developer experience for their users. They considered building with AWS Lambda, but were hesitant to spend internal engineering resources building and maintaining their own solution.

In 2022, Netlify came across Deno, a modern JavaScript and TypeScript runtime that offered web standard APIs and JavaScript primitives — like Request and Response — that developers already know. “It was a perfect match for Netlify and the idea for Edge Functions was born,” says Joey Aiello, Staff Product Manager at Netlify.

The solution

Netlify chose to build their Edge Functions product with Deno Subhosting over AWS Lambdas for several reasons:

  • instant global availability without configuration
  • ability to scale infinitely without pre-provisioning
  • much lower cold starts
  • robust and easy-to-use API that supports web standards

Learn more about building with Deno Subhosting vs. AWS Lambda in this in-depth comparison.

“Supporting open standards is essential to us. We wanted something built from open standards and not vendor-specific proprietor standards. The reason you keep running it on Netlify should be that the developer experience and productivity of your team are so high that you want to stay with us — not that you’re locked in,” Biilmann explains.

Netlify Edge Functions also delivers a world-class developer experience and performance, enabling their users to move faster. “It’s not enough for us to be an infrastructure provider; our whole value proposition is truly about making developers work faster and work better,” Biilmann says. “We had to spend a lot of time during this project on the core developer experience.”

Netlify Edge Functions not only launched at a fraction of time and cost with Deno Subhosting, but has now become a core part of the Netlify product portfolio and drives meaningful revenue for the business. They’re used by hundreds of customers and process billions of requests monthly.