• Akamai introduced additional premium instance types, enhanced object storage capacity, and a new global load balancer to improve application stability with the launch of the new sites.
  • The company will serve media, gaming, software-as-a-service, retail, and government clients. Akamai Connected Cloud and its competitive price are intended to entice them.

Akamai Technologies Inc., a content delivery network company transforming into a cloud infrastructure services provider, announced the inauguration of three new cloud data center facilities in Paris, Washington, D.C., and Chicago, with Seattle and Chennai, India, opening later in the quarter.

This is part of its mission to deliver a new type of cloud designed to satisfy the requirements of modern, distributed applications with high performance, low latency, and global scalability. Along with the launch of the new sites, Akamai made several improvements to its cloud infrastructure. For example, it added new premium instance types, more object storage space, and a new global load manager to make the hosted apps more reliable.

Akamai began as a provider of content delivery networks and later expanded into security. Recently, it has made a bold move to compete with cloud computing industry titans like Amazon Web Services Inc. After acquiring infrastructure-as-a-service platform provider Linode LLC for approximately USD 900 million in February 2022, the company doubled down on its cloud computing initiatives. This was followed by the introduction of its Akamai Connected Cloud service at the beginning of this year.

The cloud infrastructure service provided by Akamai leverages its content delivery network to span 4,200 locations in 134 countries, bringing compute, storage, database, and other essential cloud services closer to large populations, industries, and IT departments. The company claims to provide the world’s most “widely distributed” cloud infrastructure platform, allowing developers to construct and deploy more performant workloads with single-digit millisecond latencies and global reach.

The company wants to work with clients in the media, games, software-as-a-service, retail, government, and other fields. It hopes to attract them through both the capabilities of Akamai Connected Cloud and competitive pricing.

According to Akamai, its new cloud infrastructure sites are part of an initiative to introduce compute, storage, database, and other services to its edge computing network’s underlying backbone. The company has reimagined conventional data center design principles by leveraging its extensive content delivery expertise to connect each site to its enormous global backbone.

Akamai said the new sites were put in the right places so that its global users could use high-performance, scalable cloud resources. They include a new facility in Washington, D.C., near North Virginia, which is commonly regarded as the world’s largest data center location, housing more than half of the United States data center inventory. The Chicago site gives Akamai customers access to cloud computing services in the fifth-largest data center market in the world. The Seattle site will give Akamai better access to the area’s growing developer and startup community.

A new setup in Paris will allow companies with a presence in Europe to comply with local data sovereignty regulations. At the same time, an upcoming facility in Chennai, India, will provide access to one of the nation’s largest information technology centers.

Adam Karon, the Chief Operating Officer and General Manager of Akamai stated that the legacy, centralized cloud architecture developed by competitors such as Amazon Web Services (AWS) does not meet the needs of developers and businesses that want to provide the best user experience.

Adam Karon said, “These experiences increasingly require putting applications and data closer to the customer. Next-generation applications demand cloud infrastructure that provides dramatically lower latency and better egress than what’s currently possible from today’s legacy cloud providers.”

Constellation Research Inc.’s Holger Mueller stated that the recent announcement demonstrates that Akamai is delivering on the pledges made following its acquisition of Linode, offering businesses and developers an alternative cloud infrastructure to host applications.

Holger Mueller said, “With its new locations and capabilities, Akamai’s offering is beginning to take shape. But the challenge it faces now is to convince enterprises and developers that its new cloud infrastructure is more suitable for their next-generation applications.”

Akamai plans to add new features to its cloud technology to help it do this. For example, it was said that its new paid instances would make application performance more consistent by reliably allocating resources and budgets. The company guarantees that each client will be assigned the most efficient processor and hardware available for their specific workload. In addition to being available at each of the three new U.S. locations, they will be made available in Paris and Chennai alongside Akamai’s current shared and dedicated instance offerings.

Customers can also take advantage of Akamai’s announcement that the capacity of its object storage service will be doubled to 1 petabyte and 1 billion objects per bucket. Akamai says this enables customers to develop applications and analytics operations with higher data volumes.

Finally, later this summer, Akamai’s new global load balancer will become available; it will be the first of several newly integrated services scheduled after its Linode acquisition. The company says that customers will be able to make sure that their apps don’t have a single point of failure because traffic requests will be sent to the best data center to reduce delay.