Akamai reaches for the cloud • businessupdates.org

by Ana Lopez

A year ago, Akamai bought Linode for $900 million. At the time, Akamai said it wanted to combine Linode with its edge platform and security services. Unsurprisingly, that’s exactly what it’s doing now, with the launch of its new Akamai Connected Cloud – a massively distributed edge and cloud platform that leverages Linode’s existing 11 core sites, Akamai’s more than 4,200 edge locations in 134 countries, Akamai’s networking capabilities as well as 50 new distributed local clouds to be rolled out to as many cities later this year.

Akamai, of course, has long been known for its content delivery network, and in recent years it has also added more security and edge computing capabilities to its network. Now it’s taking the next step by using the Linode DNA to build out a full-stack platform for developers.

Image Credits: Akamai

“What Akamai had never done before — and sort of the next evolution we’re making — is where developers could build their applications,” Shawn Michels, Akamai’s vice president of product management, said in a press conference ahead of the announcement. “So you have this huge, globally distributed network for customers to deliver and secure. But now we need a platform that customers can build on. Through the Linode acquisition and what we’re doing on our roadmap, we’re really building out our cloud computing services and technology. The first thing we’re revealing today is bringing those three platforms or three sets of services together on one global platform to create the Akamai Connected Cloud.”

As part of this expansion, Akamai is also expanding its existing Linode footprint with 13 new core sites, including three new enterprise-scale sites in the US and Europe, which will be connected to Akamai’s network backbone. These new sites will go live in the second quarter of the year and become the template for the 10 additional new sites the company plans to launch globally over the next year.

Note that Akamai deliberately refers to these locations as “sites” and not data centers. The company is not building new data centers for this purpose, but is using colocation facilities, including some that Akamai is already using.

“We have a fundamentally different approach to cloud computing – building on 25 years of experience scaling and securing the Internet for the world’s largest companies,” said Tom Leighton, co-founder and CEO of Akamai. “Akamai is building the cloud the next decade needs.”

Like some of the larger clouds, Akamai also plans to launch a number of small local sites in select cities where it will provide basic cloud capabilities that will provide low-latency access to its services to local customers. However, one difference from what Google and AWS are doing is that Akamai wants to focus on cities that are in hard-to-reach locations that are not currently served by its competitors.

Due to Akamai’s networking background, the company expects to be able to offer quite aggressive egress pricing. However, when asked about the price, the company did not share any specifics aside from its plans to offer very low outgoing pricing. “Our prices will be very competitive. Given our ability to apply CDN-like economies to the cost of outbound cloud services, we expect to be able to offer many enterprise customers outbound pricing that could be 80% lower than what they are used to,” the company said.

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