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Why Linode+Akamai Is Transformational for How Developers Use the Cloud

Tom Leighton

Written by

Tom Leighton

April 12, 2022

Dr. Tom Leighton co-founded Akamai Technologies in 1998 and served as Akamai’s Chief Scientist until he became CEO in 2013. Under Dr. Leighton’s leadership, Akamai has evolved from its origins as a Content Delivery Network (CDN) into one of the most essential and trusted cloud delivery and cybersecurity platforms, upon which many of the world’s best brands and enterprises build and secure their digital experiences. 

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Just three weeks have gone by since Akamai officially welcomed Linode into our fold, and I’m encouraged by the excitement that so many have expressed about the combination of our two companies since we announced the acquisition in February. In conversations with us, industry analysts use the word “transformational” to sum up the potential impact of our merger on the marketplace.

To understand why, it helps to understand first where Linode fits in the cloud market, what makes Linode stand out from competitors, what Akamai adds to Linode’s capabilities, and how the synergies of this combination create something greater and more exciting than the sum of the parts.

Linode was an early pioneer in creating the market for alternative clouds. You can even make the argument that Linode created the alternative cloud category. Linode grew by serving use cases that don’t require all of the capabilities and features offered by the big three cloud providers. As a pure-play public cloud provider, Linode offered developers a viable alternative to build new applications in ways that are simple to use and affordable, offering high performance at competitive and predictable price points, backed by strong customer support after the sale. In doing so, Linode made cloud computing simple, affordable, and accessible, and became known for its developer-friendly services, its award-winning customer support, and as a trusted infrastructure as a service (IaaS) platform provider.

Today, nearly three-quarters of enterprises are pursuing multicloud strategies, which means new workloads will be built to be cloud agnostic and portable, free to move and choose the optimum place to be. (For more on the trends driving multicloud adoption, see the 451 Research report Examining the Value and Opportunity in Alternative Clouds, which also explains how Linode is comparatively positioned in the marketplace.)

In the coming years, we expect that customers will have a growing need for a continuum of compute from the cloud to the edge, to be closer to where billions of end users are and tens of billions of connected devices will be, especially as 5G and IoT take hold and expand. Building the bridge that enables developers to move from the cloud to the edge is our reason for combining with Linode, the alternative cloud pioneer. 

Akamai was the first company to offer edge computing services. Now, with Linode, Akamai is expanding from delivering and securing applications to empowering developers to build on Akamai. With Linode, we’re taking the next major step in our evolution: marrying Linode’s experience in cloud computing with Akamai’s leadership in scale and security to create the world’s most distributed compute platform — making it easier for developers and businesses to build, run, and secure their applications.

Akamai’s highly distributed edge platform has the global reach to enable any cloud application to deliver the best end-user experience anywhere that users or services consume apps. Our platform is uniquely suited for workloads that require high throughput, low latency, and instant scalability on demand. Akamai has been perfecting this capability for many years, and it is very hard to do.

Akamai also has the capabilities needed to integrate seamlessly with both DIY cloud apps and third-party cloud vendors, as part of the broader multicloud ecosystem. We believe that this flexibility will appeal to customers with a multivendor cloud strategy — to mitigate their cloud vendor–concentration risk, and to ensure resiliency and seamless availability in case one vendor’s service experiences an outage.

And with Akamai’s category-leading security solutions, customers will be able to secure their apps from their point of origin to the edge, all under Akamai’s protective umbrella. Security delivered at the edge offers unique advantages since it enables customers to manage security policies across all of their apps and infrastructure, wherever they are located. We believe that such an end-to-end security approach will appeal to customers who want increased efficiency and greater resiliency along with lower security risk. 

The net of all of this is that we believe that Akamai and Linode can solve customers’ needs in ways that are not addressed in the market today, offering customers a breadth and depth of services uncommon in the cloud space: easy-to-use cloud and edge compute, a massive content delivery platform, the best application performance, and category-leading security solutions, all backed by expert services and support professionals.

We are committed to serving Linode’s customer base of individual developers and SMBs, as Adam Karon, our COO and general manager of Akamai’s Edge Technology Group, explains in his blog post. And we see plenty of opportunity for our differentiated offering among emerging use cases that require ease of use, wider reach, lower latency, stronger security, and greater resiliency — all from a single platform, and all at an affordable, predictable price point. By combining Linode’s developer-centric cloud advantages with Akamai’s deep enterprise strengths, we believe that we can provide tremendous value to developers and enterprises large and small as they build cloud applications on Akamai. (Read Forrester’s blog for an outside take on how we see this as a transformational opportunity for us and the market we serve.)

Akamai has had a rich and exciting history of innovation that has fundamentally enabled the internet to provide enormous benefit to billions of people around the world. We are truly making life better for billions of people, billions of times a day.

As incredible as Akamai’s and Linode’s contributions to the internet have been, our combined teams couldn’t be more excited about our potential for the future as we transform our business to become the cloud company that powers and protects life online, providing even greater value for our customers to make life even better for internet users everywhere.



Tom Leighton

Written by

Tom Leighton

April 12, 2022

Dr. Tom Leighton co-founded Akamai Technologies in 1998 and served as Akamai’s Chief Scientist until he became CEO in 2013. Under Dr. Leighton’s leadership, Akamai has evolved from its origins as a Content Delivery Network (CDN) into one of the most essential and trusted cloud delivery and cybersecurity platforms, upon which many of the world’s best brands and enterprises build and secure their digital experiences.