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Akamai: Lessons Learned

Architecture Plays
Akamai* owes its success to a lot of factors. Its unique and powerful technology for intelligently caching content on the Internet came along just at a time when major Web sites became aware of congestion concerns. Sharp business management enabled Akamai to further its lead by jumping into emerging arenas, such as streaming media and application services, before its competition.

"We're going to scale this system over time from 4,000 servers to tens of thousands of servers, and we're going to continue to do it on the Intel® Architecture."
Jonathan Seelig, Vice President of Strategy and Corporate Development, Akamai

Ultimately, a company's success boils down to its platform choices. Only one platform could scale, adapt and grow to Akamai's extraordinary needsthe Intel® Architecture. Now, as Akamai prepares to extend its services and scale more rapidly than ever before, the company finds that its Intel® processor-based servers are able to meet the task.

There's a much greater customer demand for our services than ever before, so we will absolutely scale rapidly," says Jonathan Seelig, Akamai's vice president of Strategy and Corporate Development. "We're going to scale this system over time from 4,000 servers to tens of thousands of servers, and we're going to continue to do it on the Intel Architecture."

1.  Serve the business:
From the earliest days, Akamai* knew it needed a vastly distributed infrastructure. Only Intel® Architecture-based servers could provide the price/performance and flexibility to make Akamai's unique operating model work.
2.  Uptime first, last, and always:
If Akamai's service goes down, some of the most visited sites on the Web could go down with it. So Akamai is deploying thousands of load-balanced and failover enabled servers based on Intel® Pentium® III processors. With outstanding uptime characteristics, these servers are sure to be on call, even in the face of difficult network disruptions.
3.  Micro manage:
Given its unique application, Akamai wove its own suite of Linux*-based management applications. In addition, it set up a secure network operations center (NOC) that is staffed 24 hours a day. The result: Akamai can find and fix network problems from a single location, in real time, no matter where the problem exists.
4.  Know your sources:
Akamai does more than buy from multiple vendors to meet its per month deployments of 200 to 300 new servers. It formed relationships, collaborating on system design and building an understanding of business needs.
5.  Press the advantage:
Despite its lead in the Internet content delivery arena, Akamai is pushing aggressively into new geographies and into new business areas. Acquiring streaming media firm Intervu* and crafting Internet application platforms are but two ways Akamai is building its lead.

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