City Connected - Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay Section has announced a new distributed GraphQL hosting service for its cloud-native hosting solution. The new distributed hosting allows organisations to launch and scale location-optimised, multi-cloud API servers to improve their API Servers’ performance and optimise costs.

Section’s new service handles the day-to-day operations, orchestrating the GraphQL servers across a secure and reliable global infrastructure network. For Dev and Ops engineers, this simplifies choosing, implementing and running API applications across multi-cloud deployments. It allows those engineers to choose the optimum location based on price, latency requirements or security.

Stewart McGrath, CEO of Section
Stewart McGrath, CEO of Section

Stewart McGrath, Section’s CEO, commented,  “Distributing API servers and other compute resources makes all the sense in the world for developers, as long as it’s easy to do. Our new Distributed GraphQL service is simple to start, gives you immediate access to a global network, and automates orchestration so developers can simply focus on their application and business logic.”

That global network includes many locations across Europe, Asia and the US and a single site in South America. Section started its life in Australia and moved its headquarters to the US in 2016. The locations are provided by leading hosting providers, including Lumen, Rackcorp, Equinix, DigitalOcean, AWS, Microsoft Azure and GCP. What is possibly missing from that list is Oracle, IBM and NTT.

GraphQL Service

Why a GraphQL service? GraphQL is an open-source data query and manipulation language for APIs and a runtime for fulfilling queries with existing data. Developed by Facebook in 2012, it was publicly released in 2015 and has grown in popularity and usage. Akamai identified that in 2018 API calls represented 83% of all web traffic.

Organisations using the Section platform will benefit from leveraging Kubernetes containers to deploy GraphQL servers in a multi-cloud and multi-environment architecture. Section believes its tailor-made solution offers competitive pricing against hyperscalers, allowing organisations to run other containers alongside their GraphQL Server containers should they wish to. These can include Redis caches, Nodejs edge modules, or security services.

Furthermore, the Section platform provides global scalability, and automated cross-vendor failover should a data centre fail. Organisations can set simple policy-based rules to control their clusterless global platform.

Section noted several benefits of the new Distributed GraphQL service:

  • Proximity-based performance – moving API servers closer to users dramatically improves performance. Section estimates its distributed hosting solution is seven times faster than the cloud
  • As required efficiency – Servers can be spun up/down as needed based on the load to minimize cost
  • Full and partial API caching – for improved performance; done well, this can minimize the need for database distribution, dramatically decreasing cost
  • Roundtrip coalescing – Section’s data fetch capabilities can coalesce database and API calls to reduce backend chattiness
  • Cloud independence – Section’s Composable Edge Cloud eliminates provider dependence by leveraging the world’s top infrastructure and cloud providers
  • Layer 3-4 DDoS Security – Network-layer DDoS protection is included across the entire Section network to protect against all Layer 3/4 attacks. Section’s DDoS protection includes dually redundant DDoS protection, including two of the world’s largest DDoS networks

What does the GraphQL Service support

The Section GraphQL service supports distributed GraphQL solutions:

  • Hasura
  • Hasura with AWS RDS and Aurora Postgres
  • Hasura and Supabase
  • Postgraphile and Supabase
  • GraphQL with Apollo Router
  • GraphQL with Apollo Server

Enterprise Times: What does this mean

It is just over a year since Section raised $12 million in a funding round led by Lumen. Existing investors Foundry Group and Next Frontier Capital also participated alongside new investor Andreas Family Office. Since then, it has extended its platform enabling organisations such as Bigcommerce, Kentik, Lumen, and Blackbaud (now part of Anthology) to run containerized workloads on a globally distributed footprint of compute that is dynamically optimizing to their application needs.

This latest service offers several advantages to organisations working on hybrid-cloud deployments, which are becoming increasingly popular. It will enable them to create a flexible and reliable architecture to support the APIs that connect applications.

The question is whether organisations will turn to Section, decide to leverage IPaaS vendors or will organisations find that the main software vendors are offering solutions that negate the need for API servers, such as the recently announced Salesforce Genie, the new CDP which already has the connectors in place to third party data sources.


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