Akamai Launches Suite of Solutions Designed to Accelerate and Scale Dynamic Web Sites Built on Web 2.0 Technologies
Customers leveraging Akamai's unique Dynamic Site Solutions are experiencing performance gains that are nearly five times that of their original Web infrastructure, while avoiding the build-out of costly additional hardware that is often required to support the increased load brought on by richer, more dynamic content.
"Akamai is accelerating all of our dynamic e-commerce transactions, resulting in more online sales and a reduction in the cost of maintaining our infrastructure," said Terry Matthies, vice president, Information Technology, at Ross Simons, a thriving multi-channel retailer of quality jewelry and luxury items. "Prior to Akamai, we would often worry about how performance would degrade following a promotion aimed at increasing Web traffic. With Akamai, we have been able to reduce our physical infrastructure by more than one-third while offloading two-thirds of our website's traffic from our backend servers. As a result, we're offering more dynamic content without worrying about performance, all while seeing critical metrics such as growth in Web sales and reduction in shopping cart abandonment move in a positive direction."
"As Website architectures have evolved from static Web pages to the use of dynamic software applications like AJAX, Macromedia Flash and Flex, traditional content delivery technologies cannot service their needs," said Tom Leighton, Akamai's Chief Scientist. "There are inherent challenges and limitations in the delivery of dynamic content that need to be overcome in order to optimize dynamic processing on a Web site. Working alongside our customers, we recognized this trend, and are offering a unique, geographically-distributed solution for accelerating Web 2.0-based transactional content."
Prior to the Web, experiencing rich content and application functionality was only possible in a traditional client/server model. With the onset of the Internet, the benefits of delivering rich content included greater reach and less administration (or maintenance of infrastructure) than a client/server model, but content was mostly static due to limited access speeds, software technology and Web browser functionality. Today, in an age of Web 2.0 functionality and pervasive broadband adoption, it is now possible to have significant reach and simple administration while delivering a richer application embedded in a Web browser.
The Web 2.0 trend is being fueled by the demand for a more interactive and personalized online experience. An April 2006 eMarketer survey shows that 27 percent of U.S. online retailers said they plan to implement interactive tools and 41 percent intend to use personalization on their sites. Research leader Gartner* estimates that by 2010, at least 60 percent of new application development projects will include Rich Internet Applications (RIA) technology.
"Dynamically-generated content offers a great opportunity for consumer engagement, but it also presents businesses with a new challenge: richer content takes longer to load in a Web page," said Counse Broders, research director, Current Analysis. "Because of this, dynamic content is harder — and in some cases, impossible — to cache, as dynamic Web sites are regenerated every time a user visits or reloads the site. As site traffic increases, generating pages on-the-fly for thousands of consumers simultaneously can lead to increased delays — and even failures — in delivering content. Akamai is offering a unique solution to this challenge."
Akamai's suite of Dynamic Site Solutions includes the following unique features for B2C Web sites with dynamically-generated content:
Dynamic Content Processing — Akamai processes dynamic content and business logic on Akamai servers, leading to increased infrastructure offload and faster Web site delivery.
Content Prefetching — Akamai requests and pre-loads dynamic content on Akamai servers before the user has started requesting the content, enabling B2C websites to more rapidly serve dynamically-generated pages.
Internet Route and Connection Optimization — Akamai's unique Internet path optimization technology is designed to automatically select the fastest path across the Internet between the Akamai server and the central infrastructure. Once an optimal route is selected, Akamai further optimizes this connection using a unique combination of protocol optimization, persistent connections, and compression, leading to improved Web site performance and a faster and more reliable end user experience.
Content Targeting — Akamai identifies a visiting user's geographic location, connection speed, device type, or other specified information so that content can be targeted in real time based on the Web site owners' preference.
"Critical to our online success is the ability to add rich content while ensuring that our customer's browse-to-buy experience is smooth, reliable and quick," said Peter Zophy, Divisional Vice President of Ecommerce at Jos.A.Bank, a leading menswear retailer. "Father's Day is one of our busiest times of the season, and we foresaw a real need for a managed service expert versus deploying and maintaining additional hardware. Leveraging Akamai, we are ensuring that our site is able to handle increased load while accelerating the dynamic transactions on our site that lead to a sale."
"More than 120 million guests around the world choose an IHG branded hotel as their lodging destination each year," said Bryson Koehler, director, Distribution Technology at InterContinental Hotels Group, the world's largest hotel group by number of rooms. "With 86 percent of IHG's online revenue coming direct to IHG's sites, Akamai has helped increase online sales by increasing the transaction processing speed of personalized content, resulting in IHG's sites averaging more than 13 million visits each month and more than $6 million in reservations made online each day."
UK retailer Marks & Spencer sought to improve site performance and availability and increase browse-to-buy ratios as they expanded the sophistication and richness of its site. Marks & Spencer uses Akamai's services to handle all static and dynamic delivery of its product catalogue and promotional content, freeing up the retailer's origin infrastructure to perform core e-commerce transactions.
All Dynamic Site Solutions customers are provided the visibility and control to help them optimize their site's performance and ensure the effectiveness of dynamic delivery via Akamai's EdgeControl Management Center. For more information on these new services, please visit www.akamai.com.
Akamai® is the leading global service provider for accelerating content and business processes online. Thousands of organizations have formed trusted relationships with Akamai, improving their revenue and reducing costs by maximizing the performance of their online businesses. Leveraging the Akamai EdgePlatform, these organizations gain business advantage today, and have the foundation for the emerging Web solutions of tomorrow. Akamai is "The Trusted Choice for Online Business." For more information, visit www.akamai.com.
Macromedia and Flash are registered trademarks of Adobe, Inc.
Akamai Statement Under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act
The release contains information about future expectations, plans and prospects of Akamai Technologies, Inc.'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, the effects of any attempts to intentionally disrupt our services or network by unauthorized users or others, failure to have available sufficient transmission capacity, a failure of Akamai's network infrastructure and other factors that are discussed in the Company's Annual Report on Form 10-K, quarterly reports on Form 10-Q, and other documents periodically filed with the SEC.
* Gartner — May 4, 2005, Rich Internet Applications are the Next Evolution of the Web, by Mark Driver, Ray Valdes, and Gene Phifer