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Building the Future — Akamai’s Outlook on the Linode Acquisition

Adam Karon 2022.jpeg

Written by

Adam Karon

February 17, 2022

Adam Karon is Chief Operating Officer and General Manager of Akamai’s Edge Technology Group. In this role, he oversees strategy and product direction for Akamai’s media delivery, web performance, and edge computing solutions as well as the Akamai Intelligent Edge Platform, to help businesses deliver immersive online experiences with performance, scale, reliability, and simplicity across diverse application architectures. As Akamai’s Chief Operating Officer, he oversees additional functions, including corporate development and the company’s product lifecycle process.

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This Tuesday, Akamai announced our intent to acquire Linode. The acquisition is intended to create the world’s most distributed compute platform. This new cloud to edge platform will make it easier for developers and businesses to build, run, and secure applications, especially given the complexities of Web3. Decentralized apps and data, new experiences like the metaverse, and token based economies backed by blockchain require applications that are easy to deploy, fast moving, and secure. The simplest solution is an accessible, seamless continuum of compute, which will be provided by Akamai and Linode. The possibilities for cloud to edge compute enabled applications are as endless as they are exciting.

One thing this acquisition is not about is turning Linode away from small businesses and pivoting to enterprises. By adding Akamai’s scale, distribution and security, Akamai and Linode can help more developers create more applications of all shapes and sizes.

Chris Aker, Linode’s CEO, said that to deliver the best possible customer experience, Linode would need more network, security, and scale. These are hallmarks of Akamai’s business, and something we believe we do better than anyone. Akamai's CEO, Dr. Tom Leighton, highlighted that our primary objective is to scale up Linode, while integrating its compute, storage and networking capabilities into Akamai’s Intelligent Edge platform. This can provide a more comprehensive solution for every customer of Akamai and Linode, from large enterprise customers to Linode's customers today.

Like any acquisition, this deal is about bringing two things together. With Linode, Akamai will create several 1+1=3 value propositions: 

  1. A better solution for developers and businesses

  2. A more attractive cloud infrastructure and platform service

  3. The most distributed cloud to edge compute platform in the world

Developers, and businesses, want to build on platforms that are simple, integrated and can be managed as a single offering. Today’s digital businesses are building increasingly complex applications. Connected, individualized experiences must be fast, reliable, and secure. This increasingly requires massive amounts of compute power. And this, in turn, is pushing applications and data to the edge. The edge is where these experiences are consumed and created. This push requires a wider span of resiliency, reach, low latency, and security. Akamai's goal is to ensure developers have access to the right compute tools no matter where they are in their cloud journey. Creating the world’s most distributed compute platform meets those needs. 

Akamai has long supported multi-platform and multi-cloud architectures. With Linode, as we enter the cloud market, this will expand. Today 92 percent of enterprises have a multi-cloud strategy. 61 percent of organizations plan to optimize cloud costs. Linode's focus has been on offering simple, affordable, accessible compute and storage. Customers recognize Linode as a leading infrastructure as a service (IaaS) provider, and the easiest to use. Businesses across the world are striving to streamline processes. This, in turn, will reduce technical skills gaps. They will prioritize cloud providers that provide the end-to-end capabilities their applications require. Akamai can capture that demand with our category leading delivery and security solutions coupled with Linode’s compute and storage capabilities. Together, we will create a set of solutions from the cloud to the edge that other cloud providers cannot match.

Akamai has been innovating in edge computing for 20 years. Our most recent innovation has been providing low-latency serverless compute. This works well for solutions like Vaccine Edge, a solution we created in partnership with Queue-IT. Serverless is a powerful solution when proximity and low latency are required. Many developers need a mix of low latency and robust compute resources. Today, cloud compute and serverless do not provide that. Until today, Akamai has been providing custom compute solutions for our customers on our private cloud. We host virtual machines running our customers' code on our platform. One such implementation is enabling a popular direct-to-consumer video service to stream a major sporting season. With Linode, we will be able to offer a continuum of compute. We will continue to offer public cloud compute and storage resources to everyone. But we will bring that compute closer to the edge as well, and add scale. And we will continue to offer serverless compute as well.

Following this acquisition, Akamai’s future as the world’s most distributed compute platform - from cloud to edge - is bright. Linode will continue to offer the solutions developers love as they always have. Together we will scale and distribute those solutions to reach even more developers. This isn’t about turning away from small businesses and pivoting to enterprises. Developers are the key to building killer applications for the world's leading businesses. So we are committed to continue to focus on delivering great experiences for developers as Linode has. As Akamai continues to pursue our mission to power and protect life online, we are confident that with Linode we will be better positioned than ever to make life better for billions of people, billions of times a day.



Adam Karon 2022.jpeg

Written by

Adam Karon

February 17, 2022

Adam Karon is Chief Operating Officer and General Manager of Akamai’s Edge Technology Group. In this role, he oversees strategy and product direction for Akamai’s media delivery, web performance, and edge computing solutions as well as the Akamai Intelligent Edge Platform, to help businesses deliver immersive online experiences with performance, scale, reliability, and simplicity across diverse application architectures. As Akamai’s Chief Operating Officer, he oversees additional functions, including corporate development and the company’s product lifecycle process.