Akamai Technologies [NASDAQ: AKAM]: Modernist Vanguard of CDN

Dr. Tom Leighton, CEO, Akamai TechnologiesDr. Tom Leighton, CEO
With an astonishing rise in the number of internet users worldwide, the primary goal for every business enterprise is to transform their customers’ daily lives by delivering exceptional online experiences, leveraging the top industry trends such as mobile, cloud and video technologies. Today, businesses are discovering new ways to unleash the power of speedy internet connectivity across a vast distance to ensure their tech-savvy customers are experiencing optimal web performance. The challenge, however, exists in finding the right way to improve web performance to deliver an instantaneous, personalized, and secure web experience. This is where the pioneer in Content Delivery Network (CDN), Akamai Technologies [NASDAQ: AKAM] comes in. They provide the next generation CDN that serves up to 30 percent of internet traffic. Their CDN coupled with web performance, media delivery, and cloud-based solutions rightly fulfills the expectations of next generation CDN.

With its headquarters in Cambridge, MA, Akamai offers a faster, more reliable, and secure CDN to protect organizations against web attacks such as DDoS, manage image and video workflow, and optimize websites to enhance web performance for different devices and network connectivity. Since its inception, Akamai’s Content Delivery Network (CDN) has been ensuring seamless access of web pages to virtually every internet user. Today, the company enables organizations to capitalize on the age of consumerization. Having extensive experience in the CDN space, Dr. Tom Leighton, CEO, Akamai says, “We are working on delivering higher quality, better web performance at lower cost and that is why our business is going on strong.”

Keeping Pace with Drumbeat of Mobility Demands

Today, the proliferation of mobile devices is reshaping the decision pattern of consumers. According to Google’s recent announcement, the mobile-friendliness of a website will have significance in its webpage ranking algorithms. This change will have tremendous impact on Google’s search results, affecting mobile searches in all languages worldwide. In such a scenario, organizations have no other option, but to align with the changing internet environment and fulfill the mobile needs of their customers. “Organizations must invest on technology to maintain a quality web experience in the desktop environment as well as to create an optimized experience for the very distinct mobile market,” says Dr. Leighton. Variable conditions and static expectations have created a significant challenge in web content delivery. Akamai aids such organizations overcome these challenges through their Intelligent Platform. The cloud-based platform offers integrated mobile and cellular web performance solutions.

We have been investing substantially in our infrastructure and people to be prepared to deliver better experiences at lower cost

Through these solutions, organizations can cut down cost by eliminating infrastructure necessary to deliver mobile content, boost revenue by optimizing web performance in the mobile channel. Additionally, it helps organizations leverage key user insight to tailor customers’ mobile experiences. The company emphasizes on delivering faster and secure mobile experiences across all end-user situations through its web performance solutions.

Furthermore, by leveraging Akamai’s cloud-based application, Web Application Accelerator (WAA), organizations can deliver web-based enterprise applications, like CRM or supply chain management, that are reliable, secure, fast, and cost-efficient. WAA increases the chances of adoption of web applications and drives productivity without having to invest in hardware, software, or application code changes.

Seamless and Hassle-free Web Access

The adoption of web applications depends on the time the web page takes to load. Akamai Ion is a tightly integrated suite of scale, performance, and intelligence technologies required for real-time web experience optimization based on end-users’ situations across devices, locations, browsers and networks. Ion offers a fully-automated solution for situational performance which enables organizations to deliver faster web application responses, anticipate requests in fewer round trips and bytes, while improving the performance. Ion applies optimizations adaptively based on sophisticated analysis of the web application, as well as real-time conditions specific to the end-users’ environment such as browser, device, network speed, and presence of third-party services.

Organizations must invest on technology to maintain a quality web experience in the desktop environment

The company has enabled organizations to deliver seamless and interrupt-free web access, without having to worry about the size of media available on the organizations’ website. For instance, Airbnb, an innovative travel and hospitality company, came up with simple idea that let people put up the images of their spare bedrooms, houses, even tree houses for accommodation. In doing so, a lot of high resolution images were placed in the website by the users. Since Airbnb’s offerings were mobile compatible, “Akamaizing” their server was imperative. Using Akamai’s offerings, Airbnb was able to scale its website for customers located in 192 different countries and Akamai allowed them to deliver a faster web experience across the globe.
Delivering Rich Media Content

Upsurge of video streaming giants, like NetFlix and YouTube, and entry of ecommerce have necessitated Akamai to incorporate the current trends and maintain the status quo in terms of its leadership in the CDN space. The company’s technologies offer services that prioritize different kinds of mobile web traffic, use distributed devices for storing or caching video content, and compress photos selectively based on the kind of device being used. Contemporary web applications need to surmount heavy internet traffic for effective and time-bound delivery of content. In addition, the web applications should help users load the web pages quickly.

“Many of the major broadcasters are excited about moving their premium content online Over-the-Top (OTT) and over IP,” says Leighton. “We deliver video OTT that comes over the internet since there is a lot of buzz in the industry about transitioning content online.” Organizations need to cater to high-quality video streaming demands while seeking ways to offload transit and other bandwidth related costs from their networks. Akamai’s Aura Licensed CDN (LCDN) presents a potent solution for delivering rich media content in different devices and network connectivity. The company’s LCDN is comprised of licensed software deployed and managed by network operators and designed to create new revenue opportunities, enhance subscriber experience, and reduce costs. LCDN leverages two core software components—Aura HyperCache and Aura Request Router—that operate in tandem to deliver HTTP content from the network operator to end users in a highly efficient, scalable, and reliable manner.

Akamai’s LCDN can also seamlessly federate with the Intelligent Platform, providing global CDN reach beyond the operator’s network footprint with a single business agreement. LCDN components run on Commercial off-the-shelf hardware or in Virtual Machine environments. Additionally, Aura Managed CDN offers a turnkey and scalable content delivery network with infrastructure managed by Akamai.

Akamai is focused on the goal of deploying software into enterprises, carriers, and billions of devices forming a massively-distributed platform for the secure, fast, reliable, and cost-effective delivery of all forms of online content and business applications. The web and video ecosystems are in a constant state of change and evolution. New devices, standards, technologies, and consumer behaviors make support for large-scale events difficult from both planning standpoint and an execution standpoint. The coming years will witness more mobile devices, larger audiences, and increased bit rates associated with a move to higher-quality video and 4K streaming. “We have been investing substantially in our infrastructure and people to be prepared to deliver better experiences at lower cost for the ecosystem as a whole to fulfill the expectations of tomorrow,” concludes Dr. Leighton.