Nativo

Ensuring Uptime and Consistent Performance of its Ad-Serving Platform

"I’ve used other CDN providers in the past and Akamai’s stability and performance are unmatched.”

Oded Cohen , SVP of Engineering , Nativo

The Situation

Founded in 2010, Nativo – based in El Segundo, California – provides an end-to-end platform that is the dedicated native ad stack for more than 350 premium publishers, and distributes brand content on behalf of over 300 big-brand advertisers directly onto publisher sites. For publishers, the Nativo platform provides a technology solution to manage, optimize and measure direct sold native advertising campaigns. With minimal code added to their digital properties, publishers can quickly activate native ad inventory, thereby enabling brand content experiences that are fully integrated and match the look and feel of their sites. Nativo serves and optimizes brand content experiences across all devices, including laptops, desktops, smartphones and tablets. With Nativo, advertisers and publishers alike can be certain that their native ads and brand content will be discovered and consumed authentically, the same way as publisher editorial content. When consumers click on a native ad unit, Nativo injects the branded content directly onto the publisher page.  Brand content may include anything from long-form editorial, infographic, lookbook, video, etc. all of which would be promoted via the native ad unit.

The Challenge

To successfully serve native ads at scale, Nativo’s ad server must be available without fail. Nativo’s ad stack is designed and deployed as a fully distributed system that spans multiple geographical locations. This architecture ensures shorter response times (due to lower network latency) and fault tolerance, allowing the system to successfully serve and deliver ads even in case of a catastrophic failure of an entire region or data center.

The Nativo system is hosted with a cloud provider and was initially supported by a DNS routing and load-balancing solution provided by the cloud provider. However, when it came to complex scenarios, Nativo was limited to basing its load-balancing decisions only on an end user’s geographic location. Nativo had expected traffic to be evenly distributed between its data centers, taking into consideration server load. In too many cases, traffic from the West Coast was routed to Nativo’s East Coast data center, creating significantly more load on one data center and adding unnecessary network latency for users.

In addition, the solution did not automatically identify when one data center was down and reroute all traffic to the other data center(s). “This can cause major problems, especially when serving large premium publishers that tend to experience large traffic spikes as a result of certain events, both planned and unplanned. Plus, it forced us to invest more resources than we would normally need to,” explains Oded Cohen, SVP of Engineering for Nativo.

With traffic up tenfold in a single year, and growing, Nativo knew it needed to find a way to satisfy the demands of its growing clientele of premium publishers and brand marketers.

The Goal

Nativo needed to meet three key requirements to support its objectives:

  • Serve ads quickly and without fail – The company wanted to ensure its platform served ads quickly, even when its cloud-hosting provider experienced a catastrophic failure in one region.
  • Strategically load balance – Nativo wanted the ability to balance load based on both an end user’s location and Internet conditions at any given moment in time.
  • Reduce costs – The company wanted to avoid deploying extra servers to handle increased load.

Why Akamai

Going With a Proven Vendor

Cohen and other team members had already used Akamai services 
at previous companies, so they chose to go with Akamai again. “I’ve used other CDN providers in the past, and Akamai’s stability, scalability, performance and technical expertise are unmatched,” says Cohen.

To address its needs, Nativo deployed the Download Delivery feature of the Akamai Media Content Delivery service, along with the Global Traffic Management and Fast DNS services. Download Delivery ensures fast delivery of even the largest files that Nativo serves, which can be up to 40 MB. Akamai’s Global Traffic Management service makes intelligent routing decisions based on real-time data center performance and global Internet conditions to ensure user requests are routed to the most appropriate data center. Finally, Fast DNS Directs users to a high-performing DNS server based on network conditions to mitigate downtime caused by data center outages.

Ensuring Optimal Performance

Because Akamai’s services can automatically detect and route around an unresponsive data center, Nativo can be certain of 100% uptime. “Our previous cloud-hosting provider has experienced unplanned downtime and poor performance in the past, so Akamai’s ability to reroute traffic in those cases is critical. Because of this, we’re able to meet our promise to publishers of delivering ads quicker and doing so consistently,” explains Cohen.

About Nativo

Serving More Ads without Incurring Higher Costs

Akamai allows Nativo to automatically balance between regions, so the native ad serving giant can more easily control the flow of traffic between its data centers. Being more balanced in the United States obviates the need to deploy more servers, helping keep costs in check as Nativo scales.

According to Cohen, one of Nativo’s differentiators is its superior technology and dependable service. To that end, it’s crucial that the company can deliver on client expectations. “We work with over 350 premium publishers across more than 2,500 desktop and mobile properties, so our clients depend on us heavily when leveraging our ad-serving and campaign-optimization technology to run their campaigns. When we say we use Akamai, it definitely gives them peace of mind,” he says

Planning for Global Growth

Nativo continues to grow its client footprint outside of the United States. “Expanding globally has been a natural progression for us, and Akamai continues to enable us to scale our business as we expand quickly to new regions,” concludes Cohen.

Nativo is the leading advertising technology platform for brand advertisers and publishers to scale, automate and measure native ads.

For brands, Nativo is the ultimate content advertising platform that delivers native content with unparalleled reach, engagement and intelligence. For media companies, Nativo provides a complete native technology stack that makes it easier to sell, deploy and optimize native ads across sites and across screens. Nativo combines a dynamic content- management system with advanced content ad-serving capabilities, allowing publishers to create, manage and monetize truly native executions without compromising their users’ experience. More than 300 brands and 350 publishers leverage Nativo’s platform to power their next-generation digital advertising. Learn more at www.nativo.net.

About Akamai

Akamai secures and delivers digital experiences for the world’s largest companies. Akamai’s intelligent edge platform surrounds everything, from the enterprise to the cloud, so customers and their businesses can be fast, smart, and secure. Top brands globally rely on Akamai to help them realize competitive advantage through agile solutions that extend the power of their multi-cloud architectures. Akamai keeps decisions, apps and experiences closer to users than anyone — and attacks and threats far away. Akamai’s portfolio of edge security, web and mobile performance, enterprise access and video delivery solutions is supported by unmatched customer service, analytics and 24/7/365 monitoring. To learn why the world’s top brands trust Akamai, visit www.akamai.com, blogs.akamai.com, or @Akamai on Twitter. You can find our global contact information at www.akamai.com/locations.