IBM Joins with Akamai for Application Acceleration

WebSphere Application Accelerator combines IBM hardware with Akamai's network.

By Sean Michael Kerner | Posted Apr 13, 2011
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IBM (NYSE: IBM) is partnering with Akamai (NASDAQ: AKAM) for new joint application acceleration solutions.

The new solutions include the WebSphere Application Accelerator for Public Networks, which includes a hardware component as well a managed service with Akamai for network delivery.

"What is unique is that the product offerings are managed services that extend the capability of WebSphere server and application middleware beyond the edge of the enterprise," Corey Scobie, Chief Strategist for Application Optimization, IBM told InternetNews.com. "That is new ground for IBM. Historically we've been strong in technology that existed within the wall of the enterprise and the data center."

Scobie noted that the service works by accelerating applications within a datacenter with hardware and Akamai's delivery fabric. The plan is for enterprise applications to be available to users within one Internet hop, by leveraging the Akamai network.

While IBM has included the name WebSphere in the product name, the technology is not limited only to IBM's own WebSphere Java middleware servers. Scobie noted that the application acceleration will also work with Oracle WebLogic and Red Hat JBoss middleware servers as well.

As part of the solution, enterprises will need an IBM's DataPower Edge Appliance that sits on the customer premise. The appliance integrates with the Akamai global delivery network.

"There is a managed service component with costs based on the amount of traffic, there is also a capital asset cost with the WebSphere DataPower appliance," Scobie said.

While Akamai is known for its data caching capabilities, which put data at points of presence close to users, the joint IBM solution is also able to handle dynamic data.

"We worked on a framework and integration with Akamai for cache policies, to be able to handle real time changes," Scobie said. "So the application infrastructure can react to the real time demands that might be going on."

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at InternetNews.com, the news service of Internet.com, the network for technology professionals.

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