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Report Details Challenges of Self-Built Edge Messaging Infrastructure

The majority of organizations using self-built edge messaging infrastructure have suffered an outage in the past 12-18 months.

Nearly two-thirds (65%) of organizations have experienced an outage or significant downtime in the past 12-18 months with edge messaging infrastructure built in-house, according to a new report from Ably and Coleman Parkes Research.

Edge messaging infrastructure underpins the live experiences consumers demand today, such as financial and sports updates, live 1:1 and group chat, GPS location tracking, notifications, quizzes, polls, leaderboards, and collaborative charts and dashboards.

While 54% of respondents to Ably's The State of Edge Messaging Infrastructure survey cite high availability of service and infrastructure reliability as the most important factors for edge messaging, there is a disconnect in an organization's ability to deliver it, which presents an increasing challenge in the market.

While most survey respondents (89%) believe a scalable and reliable real-time edge messaging infrastructure will provide a competitive advantage, research shows that many organizations have found building the infrastructure in-house is a drain on time and resources. More than half of respondents (53%) said completing an infrastructure project took 3.5 months longer than expected, and 52% said it took 10.2 "person-months" to build infrastructure in-house.

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In addition to being time-consuming, the infrastructure to support live and collaborative experiences can be costly to build and very expensive to maintain. According to survey respondents, more than half (55%) of all self-built real-time data platforms require $100,000 to $200,000 a year in upkeep. And 46% of respondents reported the cost of the overall project as a significant challenge.

The cost of operating and maintaining homegrown edge messaging infrastructure will only skyrocket and lead to growing technical debt. Many organizations are realizing the advantages of switching to a real-time platform as a service (PaaS). Sixty percent say switching to a more stable and dependable infrastructure would improve the existing live user experience, and 55% say it would let them redeploy engineers from working on infrastructure to focusing on the core product.

The report findings are based on a survey by Coleman Parkes Research of 500 U.S. and U.K. engineering leaders with knowledge of their organization's real-time infrastructure.

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