ETPO - Emerging Technology Policy Observatory

Akamai Intelligent Platform for a Content Delivery Network View of the Internet of Things

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On the 12th of October at the Edge 2017 event, Akamai launched the following press release:

Akamai Unveils Strategy to Support Customers Adopting IoT – Akamai OTA Updates Designed to Meet the Unique Needs of the Connected Car”

The press release stated that: “Through this initiative, Akamai will leverage the scale, performance and security of the Akamai Intelligent Platform to support fast, secure, and resilient distribution of data to connected devices anywhere across the globe, as well as to power advanced distributed communications and processing of data originating in these connected devices.” Akamai OTA (Over the Air) is part of the initiative and focussed on car manufacturers and connected vehicles ecosystem players.

Does the IoT community need to put some attention on this? To answer that question, it is important to understand the business and technological nature of Akamai. When you download your content from BBC iPlayer or other similar streaming services, most probably, that content is coming to you through Akamai servers via Akamai technologies. You content is going through something called “Akamaization”. The objective is to send you content, which is all or in part stored near you in the Akamai server. That process is done through a dedicated network of servers, also known as Edge Servers, called Content Delivery Network (CDN) as shown in the picture below.

Akamai is one of the most important players in the CDN market. That position gives Akamai a tremendous insight in the Internet traffic. In fact, Akamai’s report on the traffic over the Internet is well-known and highly rated. That report shows also the strong data traffic analytics provided by Akamai. Akamai has dealt with any type of Internet data for more than 20 years. The data is various, but, it is fair to say that the receiving end of the Akamai CDN has mainly been devices such as TVs and PCs. But, the jump from there to any type of devices at the edge is not that difficult. In other words, Akamai Content Delivery Network, through the Akamai Intelligent Platform, could be used to manage, deliver, and measure any type of traffic towards any type of device. And that traffic, today, is also machine-generated data. In addition to that, the Akamai Intelligent Platform introduces a new level of analytics and measurements on the Internet traffic. The IoT community has talked for some time about connectivity analytics. Akamai can strongly contribute to that debate. It is fair to say that the idea of proposing the content delivery network model for the IoT is not new. PubNub has done that before and it is doing it. However, Akamai can strongly boost that view from its position of historic leader of the CDN world.

The answer to the question is that the IoT community has found another important player to include and to look at. The three most important reasons for that are:

          Akamai brings a new view, and maybe refreshing one, on the Edge debate.

          Akamai provides a profound understanding of data traffic and its analytics over the Internet.

          Akamai is a very experienced player in delivering data traffic globally whatever type of devices are considered.

 

 

 

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