Akamai Speeds Web 2.0 Traffic

Akamai adds acceleration services for Web 2.0 rich media content.

Akamai Technologies on June 12 will launch a new suite of services that address the dynamic nature of Web 2.0 rich media content.

Recognizing that all Web sites are not cache-able—especially with the growing adoption of AJAX (Asynchronous Java Script and XML), the Cambridge, Mass., company added new techniques to accelerate more dynamic sites.

"With the traditional Web site, you pull down HTML and images to create a page. With rich interactive applications that use AJAX as the underlying technology, these pull down little pieces of data that update the page dynamically. Its a complete different paradigm than static HTML and images," said Kieran Taylor, director of product management in Cambridge.

With the growth of AJAX as well as Macromedia Flash and Flex, which take longer to load due to their rich and interactive content, Akamai knew it had to respond to the paradigm shift.

By Akamais own count, some 27 percent of online retailers plan to implement interactive tools, while 41 percent plan to use some type of personalization on their Web sites.

Akamai, long known for its content distribution network that speeds the delivery of static Web content by caching it closer to end users, will add the new Dynamic Site Solutions for business-to-consumer Web sites.

/zimages/6/28571.gifTo read more about Akamai acceleration technology, click here.

The suite can accelerate collaborative Web 2.0 type content in multiple ways.

The first new service, dynamic content processing, enables some of the application logic to be processed at the edge of the network, rather than going back to an application server.

"We can make decisions local to the user. It could be content targeting—deciding which content to display to which user based on the cookie," said Taylor.

With the new content pre-fetching service, Akamai edge servers pre-populate caches based on requests the browser is going to make.

"We have the intelligence to retrieve that content and have it there when the user will make the request," said Taylor.

The Internet route and connection optimization service uses Akamais overlay network on top of the Internet to select speedier routes available within its own network, bypassing the use of the Internets Border Gateway Protocol, which is not aware of the alternative Akamai routes.

In addition to using the faster routes, the service applies protocol optimization, persistent connections and compression to boost Web site performance.

The final new service in the suite, Content Targeting, uses Akamais 18,000 servers to build a map to geographic locations to zero in on where a request is originating.

"Its important to customers that want to personalize content based on geographic location without having to go to a centralized infrastructure to make decisions. With this we can make those decisions at the edge," said Taylor.

The new services are available now and start at $8,500 per month, depending on page view volumes.

/zimages/6/28571.gifCheck out eWEEK.coms for the latest news, views and analysis on servers, switches and networking protocols for the enterprise and small businesses.