IBM and Akamai team up to help organizations accelerate the delivery of applications across the Web and through the cloud using new appliance technology.
LAS VEGAS-In a partnership with Akamai, IBM
has announced new offerings designed to speed the delivery of Web and cloud
applications to the employees, partners and customers who rely on them.
At the IBM Impact 2011 conference here, IBM officials
said the new offerings are part of a multiphase initiative that integrates IBM
WebSphere technology with Akamai's global application delivery network.
As part of its relationship with
Akamai, IBM is introducing WebSphere Application Accelerator for Public
Networks, which is available now. In the future, IBM plans to introduce
two additional offerings, WebSphere Application Accelerator for Hybrid Networks
and a supporting product-IBM DataPower Edge Appliance XE82.
IBM WebSphere Application Accelerator
for Public Networks helps businesses deliver applications faster by reducing
the time it takes for information to move from the data center across the Internet
to users on the public Internet, IBM said. The solution also helps protect and
secure applications through a scalable network of tens of thousands of servers
that can be instantly called upon to serve unexpected bursts of traffic or to
protect against intentionally malicious attacks. WebSphere Application
Accelerator for Public Networks is available now in the United States,
Australia, Brazil, Canada, New Zealand and Singapore, and will be rolled out in
other countries over the course of the year, IBM officials said.
Moreover, to speed enterprise access to
public cloud and software-as-a-service (SAAS) applications, IBM plans to
introduce IBM WebSphere Application Accelerator for Hybrid Networks, which will
create a hybrid network between private enterprise networks and the public
Internet. Organizations seeking to increase the speed and reliability of their
interactions with public cloud and SAAS applications will benefit from this
offering, the company said.
And to bring Akamai's technology into
their private networks, organizations using IBM WebSphere Application
Accelerator for Hybrid Networks will require IBM's DataPower Edge Appliance
XE82. This appliance is expected to give enterprises a first-of-its-kind
solution that brings the benefits of the Akamai network inside their firewalls,
speeding access to applications hosted in the public cloud.
Indeed, by monitoring the strain on
data center resources, IBM expects the Edge Appliance to add a new layer of
intelligence to the new WebSphere Application Accelerator solutions, company
officials said. Through this blend of locally owned and remotely rented network
and computing infrastructure, clients will be able to boost application
availability and speed both inbound and outbound network traffic.
Moreover, in addition to its role in
bringing Akamai inside clients' firewalls, IBM's DataPower Edge Appliance XE82
also is expected to help clients using IBM WebSphere Application Accelerator
for Public Networks achieve faster application delivery while reducing data
center, infrastructure and network costs.
"The applications we depend on both as
consumers and in the enterprise require a great deal of data center resources,"
said Marie Wieck, general manager for application and integration middleware at
IBM, in a statement. "The new solutions we've created in collaboration with
Akamai provide clients with a cost-effective and secure way of speeding the
delivery of applications from the enterprise through the Internet to the end user
IBM said the continuing rise of
interactive Web applications such as collaboration and supply chain management
and the rapid growth of mobile applications are placing new demands on
businesses' data centers and Internet infrastructure. When these systems are
overburdened, it becomes difficult to deliver the intended user experience,
resulting in poor application adoption, lost revenue and productivity. At the
same time, businesses today have high expectations for Web application
availability and performance. They are increasingly attracted to the
flexibility of cloud delivery models, but they don't want to sacrifice
In the past, the only way to improve
application performance over the Internet was to build out data centers.
Similarly, the only way to ensure that cloud applications performed well within
the enterprise was to build complex acceleration infrastructures with each
individual cloud service provider. Last year, however, IBM and Akamai set about
addressing these challenges with new offerings that accelerate traffic between
the public cloud and the data center, and in turn improve application
performance for users both inside and outside the enterprise.
BrandMaker GmbH, a leading European
supplier of marketing resource management systems, said it looks for WebSphere
Application Accelerator for Public Networks to cost-effectively speed the
delivery of its own software, which is provided to clients around the world
through the cloud. The company's software is currently used by more than 1,500
customers with operations in 84 countries. Among its clients are Commerzbank,
Ernst & Young, Lufthansa, Sara Lee, Siemens and UBS, and many other
well-known brands, IBM said.
"This combination of IBM and Akamai
technologies represents the future for the delivery of software as a service,"
said Mirko Holzer, CEO of BrandMaker, in a statement. "Until now, if you wanted
to offer software as a service, you needed to use data centers around the world
and spend millions of dollars synchronizing their operations. Using this
offering, BrandMaker and other cloud providers can offer clients around the
world a faster user experience at a price they can afford."
"Enterprise users of cloud-based or
software-as-a-service applications are often subjected to unacceptable
performance and availability," said Willie Tejada, vice president of
Application and Site Acceleration at Akamai, in a statement. "Together, IBM and
Akamai have the technologies needed to address the challenges posed by these
increasingly popular application delivery models. The availability of the
public and hybrid network products will also help customers bring their
WebSphere applications to market faster, more efficiently and at less cost."
Darryl K. Taft covers the development tools and developer-related issues beat from his office in Baltimore. He has more than 10 years of experience in the business and is always looking for the next scoop. Taft is a member of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) and was named 'one of the most active middleware reporters in the world' by The Middleware Co. He also has his own card in the 'Who's Who in Enterprise Java' deck.