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Delivers Integrated, Intelligent Optimizations to Address Situational Performance Challenges Presented by Evolving Web Experiences
Akamai® Technologies, Inc. (NASDAQ: AKAM), the leading cloud platform for helping enterprises provide secure, high-performing user experiences on any device, anywhere, today introduced Aqua Ion. Building on top of Akamai's industry-proven dynamic web acceleration capabilities, Aqua Ion introduces an entirely new way to layer and intelligently apply a comprehensive set of optimizations, including front-end optimization (FEO), as well as third-party and mobile-specific enhancements designed to allow organizations to help optimize web experiences across a wide range of use cases, or situations. By improving web performance intelligently according to the user's situation, Aqua Ion is designed to enable companies to meet the demands of situational performance created by the new way customers are experiencing the web.
A recent report by Forrester Consulting, "Shifting Performance Strategies for Mobile and Web Delivery," indicates that, "companies are struggling to keep up with rising expectations for web responsiveness, rich content, and support for mobile devices."1 In addition, the survey of more than 200 IT professionals on which the report findings were based highlights that, "most web teams underutilize services that can improve the performance of their web and mobile architectures. Instead, most web teams prefer to expand the capacity of their internal architectures."2
For companies trying to reach customers and users via an increasing number of devices, browsers and networks, the problem of providing the optimal user experience becomes significantly more complicated. IT and development organizations can no longer rely on users accessing their sites from a relatively consistent environment and as such, should not focus their performance optimization strategies on a limited set of tools, techniques and approaches. Further, these optimizations must be architected to work together intelligently to minimize the risk associated with cobbling together individual point solutions that may jeopardize overall functionality.
Built on the Akamai Intelligent Platform™, Aqua Ion is designed to help companies meet the performance challenges that are introduced as traditional web sites continue to transition into more complex, richer web experiences. Single web sites that could once be universally delivered to all users have evolved to highly personalized web experiences that have a specific set of characteristics associated with a particular user. Beginning with Akamai's best-in-class acceleration for dynamic sites – which is purpose built for scale, security and reliability and incorporates acceleration, connection, and routing optimizations unique to the platform – Aqua Ion introduces powerful new network and device intelligence features to help address situational performance requirements. These intelligent performance optimizations are designed to match to the conditions presented by a user's particular combination of browser, device, network and content accessed.
To provide customers with the combination of technologies required to meet the challenges of situational performance, Aqua Ion includes a variety of key capabilities designed to improve the end-user experience.
Front-End Optimization (FEO) – Akamai's approach to FEO seeks to adaptively apply optimization techniques for each end user, based on sophisticated analysis of the web application as well as real-time conditions specific to the end-user's environment. These optimizations are designed to help reduce HTTP requests, reduce the required bytes delivered and accelerate page rendering. Uniquely, Akamai offers this capability as an "in network" optimization as a service that can work in conjunction with existing performance and intelligence optimizations being used.
Third Party Integration – Users demand richer experiences that utilize a combination of first- and third-party content and services that are assembled in real-time at the browser. Aqua Ion is designed to help mitigate performance issues that can occur in these situations. Asynchronous processing and execution deferral help prevent slow third-party code from spoiling the user experience.
Adaptive Image Compression – The ability to vary the level of image compression based on real-time network conditions allows pages to load much faster even when network conditions are poor. The result is an optimized and improved experience that is intelligently responsive to real-time network conditions and the user's situation.
Dynamic Page Caching – Situational performance includes the need to deliver performance based on user behavior. Aqua Ion includes configurable options available through the Akamai Luna Control Center that enables more granular and intelligent caching of dynamic and personalized content based on audience segmentation.
IPv6 Support – Aqua Ion includes the ability to dynamically adapt the IP connection to match and support the device making the request, designed to ensure that customers can continue delivering web sites using IPv6 without having to re-engineer the IPv4 infrastructure.
Akamai Instant – Many variables can affect how quickly – or how slowly – a user is presented with a page in response to an action taken in a browser. Akamai Instant can retrieve the next pages most likely to be requested, based on origin analytics, before the user selects it for viewing.
Build.com, the leading online-only home improvement retailer, has been evaluating the impact of situational performance on the user experience. According to Brad Ledford, director of software development at Build.com, Inc., "Our customers visit the site on a variety of devices and across multiple networks. It simply wasn't feasible or economical to deploy individual sites tuned to the numerous combinations of access scenarios. Incorporating Aqua Ion as a component of our web infrastructure is helping us meet the challenges of this new web reality."
"With Aqua Ion, we're taking a large step forward by providing a powerful set of integrated technologies designed to intelligently optimize performance for the unique requirements of the web experience. It's no longer enough to think about one situation and not practical to deploy a collection of disparate tools," said Mike Afergan, senior vice president and general manager, Web Experience Business Unit, Akamai. "The new web technologies introduced in just the past five years have shifted the focus away from simple web ‘sites' to highly engaging web ‘experiences' delivered across browsers, networks and devices. Aqua Ion is designed to meet the situational performance challenges introduced by this new web reality."
Akamai® is the leading cloud platform for helping enterprises provide secure, high-performing user experiences on any device, anywhere. At the core of the Company’s solutions is the Akamai Intelligent Platform™ providing extensive reach, coupled with unmatched reliability, security, visibility and expertise. Akamai removes the complexities of connecting the increasingly mobile world, supporting 24/7 consumer demand, and enabling enterprises to securely leverage the cloud. To learn more about how Akamai is accelerating the pace of innovation in a hyperconnected world, please visit www.akamai.com or blogs.akamai.com, and follow @Akamai on Twitter.
Akamai Statement Under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act
This release contains information about future expectations, plans and prospects of Akamai's management that constitute forward-looking statements for purposes of the safe harbor provisions under The Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Actual results may differ materially from those indicated by these forward-looking statements as a result of various important factors including, but not limited to, failure of Akamai services to operate as expected or to address intended market needs, a failure of Akamai's network infrastructure, and other factors that are discussed in Akamai's Annual Report on Form 10-K, quarterly reports on Form 10-Q, and other documents periodically filed with the SEC.
1 Forrester Research, August 2012 "Shifting Performance Strategies and Solutions for Mobile and Web Delivery."