Akamai Connect adds Cache and Speed to Cisco WAN

When you’re in the media business long enough getting briefed by companies about their new offerings, you develop relationships which quite often means you gain a lot of trust with the person speaking with you. On virtually every call I’m on in fact, I am told something, then asked to keep it off the record. The problem is, I can’t always remember what is told to me in confidence – or by whom. I generally try to delete things I am not supposed to write from my notes as a fail-safe precaution. Hmm… Perhaps I need a better system. i-dont-know

In order to set up this post then I will talk in the abstract to some degree because I can’t burn a source or go back on my word. Here goes…

At one of the largest if not the largest wireless show in the world two years back, a very large networking vendor provided the WiFi. The performance of said WiFi was not satisfactory. I was told this was because another large company – one that sells a tremendous amount of smartphones had a major OS upgrade while the show was taking place.

This brought the network to its knees due to the sheer number of devices from the above company which were on the network. As a result, few people could actually use the connection and what was supposed to be a positive PR experience turned out not to be so great.

There – I did it. Hopefully I didn’t give away where the bodies were buried.


I couldn’t help but think about this story when I recently spoke with Lorenz Jakober, Senior Product Marketing Manager at Akamai who told me about Cisco Intelligent WAN with Akamai Connect. Specifically, how Cisco’s ISR-AX line of routers can be enhanced by Akamai software which uses intelligent caching to speed up branch-office computing – substituting for or often improving the performance of costly network upgrades.

Devices are proliferating and screen resolutions are increasing while video standards are going from HD to 4K. In such an environment, it is obvious that latency can dramatically slow productivity. Especially when you consider how many corporate apps now live in clouds or on intranets.

The list of items which can be cached is large… Websites, mobile apps, video and software updates. Video can be HTML5, HLS for iOS, Adobe HTTP and Microsoft HSS. The technology works for iOS updates as well. I asked about something like Office in the cloud as instances can be quite different from user to user. In other words, the document I work on has nothing to do with the one another writer down the hall is typing. He told me they have seen an increase in performance of 51% for a four-step Microsoft Office 365 transaction. Much of this is due to shared code, templates, etc.

The company says a big differentiator they offer is caching efficiency – obviously Akamai is famous for being able to store content locally and generally distribute it more efficiently… They’ve been in business 20 years or so doing precisely this.

Lorenz left me with one final thought – this solution puts WAN optimization, caching, security and path control in a single box making it more cost effective and faster than numerous disparate solutions.

One final thought I had was this solution could be quite useful at the next big wireless event which coincides with a major OS upgrade.

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