Akamai and IBM to Drive Advances in e-Business Infrastructure for Enterprises


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CAMBRIDGE, Mass. & SOMERS, N.Y. - 02 Oct 2001: Akamai Technologies, Inc. and IBM today announced next-generation Internet infrastructure services that will combine IBM's WebSphere e-infrastructure software, Web-hosting and content delivery for enterprises that use Akamai's globally distributed network of nearly 12,000 servers at the Internet's edge.

Specifically, Akamai and IBM plan to collaborate on ways to use IBM's WebSphere e-infrastructure software to manage high-volume transactions and speed deployment of e-business applications on Akamai's global network. The companies will also provide customers with e-business infrastructure solutions, including Akamai EdgeSuite(SM), through IBM Global Services.

Simplifying e-Business Infrastructure
IBM's WebSphere software will be enabled to interoperate with the Akamai EdgeSuite service by leveraging Edge Side Includes (ESI), a simple mark-up language and proposed standard for the dynamic assembly of Web page fragments, such as stock quotes and individual catalog prices. By using the ESI-enabled WebSphere Edge Server and Akamai EdgeSuite, customers will be equipped to build, deploy, and manage highly dynamic Web sites and applications that capitalize on the performance and cost benefits of edge computing. For example, a retail site could construct Web pages by linking individual fragments, including a promotional graphic or sale price, targeted and delivered from Akamai's global network.

"Web operations are rapidly evolving from centralized to highly decentralized architectures," said Rob Batchelder, research director at Gartner, Inc., an industry research and advisory firm. "Critical to this evolution is the ability to dynamically migrate the application elements of Web systems to points where they can most effectively be executed. Technologies which enable this migration are essential to realizing the potential of a massively distributed, Web Services computing model."

"The Web has evolved beyond simple static Web pages to include more personalized, dynamic content such as news, stock quotes, and catalogs," said Scott Hebner, director of WebSphere marketing, IBM. "The dynamic nature of the content and applications puts a significant burden on network infrastructures that were only designed to handle static content. By enabling WebSphere Edge Server to interoperate with Akamai's network, our offerings will address those needs. Akamai provides a network that helps e-businesses save time and money and will help our customers expand the efficiency of their e-business infrastructure."

In addition, Akamai and IBM will collaborate to provide distributed application processing from the Akamai network to enterprises and developers using WebSphere software. This will move the burden from the customer's centralized origin server to a globally dispersed network of servers, closer in proximity to end users. Pushing distributed application processing deeper into the network infrastructure will improve performance and reduce costs by allowing enterprises to develop and deploy mission-critical e-business applications that take advantage of WebSphere and Akamai's global network, without customers having to own or manage all the elements of the infrastructure.

"The centralized model of Web serving has made way for a more efficient method of distributed computing," said George Kurian, vice president, product marketing, Akamai. "Together, IBM and Akamai are enabling businesses to outsource critical infrastructure through a unified source for cost savings, significant performance increase, on-demand scalability and worldwide reach. Given IBM's leadership in e-business infrastructure services, our complementary technologies will enable both companies to further assist Web-enabled enterprises."

Delivering a Complete Solution for Enterprises
IBM Global Services will certify consultants to support the implementation of Akamai's services, and establish a Project Office to further the companies' joint efforts in meeting the e-business infrastructure needs of today's Fortune 1000 companies. IBM's e-business infrastructure includes consulting, integration, and Web hosting services that provide a significant advantage in accelerating the adoption of the companies' joint offerings for outsourced infrastructure.

IBM will also become an Akamai preferred provider of Information Technology and Services, including IBM iSeries servers, storage systems, server integration/installation services, and DB2 Universal Database.

Infrastructure Evolution
The expanded relationship provides fully compatible services that leverage the unique strengths of both companies. The ESI-enabled WebSphere Edge Server together with Akamai EdgeSuite will allow customers to deploy highly dynamic Web sites and applications with greater performance, while minimizing infrastructure costs when scaling to meet large demand.

The WebSphere Edge Server will benefit customers served by the Akamai network due to its ability to execute high-volume transactions - WebSphere customers manage billions of transactions per day around the world - and its support of Web services, which enables the linking and integration of business applications across a wide spectrum of different computing systems. In addition to ESI, the WebSphere family of products supports all major open Internet standards, including J2EE, XML and all of its derivative technologies such as UDDI and SOAP.

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