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Akamai Technologies is one of the world’s largest companies in content delivery network (CDN), cybersecurity, and cloud services. Akamai’s Intelligent Edge Platform is one of the world’s largest distributed computing platforms. The company operates a network of servers worldwide and rents capacity on these servers to customers who want their websites to work faster by distributing content from locations near the user. Recently, Akamai acquired Linode, further strengthening its cloud capabilities.
Analytics India Magazine reached out to Matthew Lynn, director of cloud compute, APJ, Akamai Technologies, to learn more about the company and its plans.
AIM: What challenges are organisations facing when dealing with cloud computing companies?
Lynn: If we talk about the challenges, one would be cost, and another, locking. A lot of customers see their cloud costs explode. Recent reports have revealed that cloud costs typically grow by 30% year on year for all organisations. And, many of those organisations now realise they’re probably wasting about 25% of that spin.
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They know they’re not using the cloud effectively, as well. Of course, there are opportunities to look at how one can rectify that to rein in their cloud spins, and also make sure that they’re spending their money in the right places. A part of that is really about how you make sure that you deliver the right application for the right service. Akamai is not here expecting to be another AWS or Amazon, we’re not trying to own this space. But we definitely see certain applications and use cases where we can provide a unique value, and that is very much around cost distribution.
AIM: What’s the uptime of your services?
Lynn: The uptime is four nines (99.99%) at the moment. Linode has a really strong foundation for us to build our core cloud computing service off. They’ve got a very successful business in the SMB and the mid-market space. And really, that’s what we’ve purchased, a strong core computing capability, and really strong infrastructure as a service platform as a service type capability.
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A part of our strategy includes improving the availability, compliance, and a lot of the enterprise features and functions, which enterprises demand. We have an aggressive roadmap for the next three years to execute that. So by the end of next year, we’ll expect to have a footprint in line with all of the hyper scalars, consistent with AWS, GCP, or a Zoo. So, we are pushing out that infrastructure through more core sites, a distributed layer of computing which sits on that and then also alchemizing edge computing capability which we have in the market today. We’re really investing heavily to build out three layers of computing capability, which customers can build their application framework on.
AIM: Don’t you think companies like Akamai have too much control over the internet?
Lynn: Absolutely, and it’s something which I guess all governments and organisations need to be wary of. I think there’s a government level to that. But, there’s also an organisational element, I guess, how much of your workflow do you want to deliver through a single platform? Is there any vendor risk in terms of having the right providers in your portfolio? So having diversity in terms of your providers and organisation is important.
But that’s important from a platform perspective. From a commercial standpoint, we’re very much the plumbing of the internet. We provide a platform which has the capability on it. Now, we don’t necessarily control the content going across. That’s up to our customers and enterprises, who we work with, in terms of how that is configured.
AIM: How can a content streaming company make sure that large events like FIFA streams effectively?
Lynn: It’s all about the preparation, and not necessarily just about the delivery component. It’s everything from when a customer signs in. Do you have the scalability in your sign on engine in the first 10 minutes leading up to the match, because to be sure, there is going to be a huge ramp up with people heating your sign on page, if there’s a paywall in front of it and can that paywall stand? So you need to think about every component through that workflow and make sure that you understand where your choke points are, and ensure that you’re able to address those.
We do work with various customers deploying the World Cup, and we do have a very disciplined and long approach to preparing for those types of events. We have a global team to ensure that our network is ready. We’re engaging with customers in the right way and helping them identify those choke points and deliver the best service that they possibly can.