Akamai has introduced a new product called the “Cloud Networking Suite” which targets the WAN industry with a bundle of features that eases the deployment and management of the WAN. The Cloud Networking features include:
- Internet Transport Optimization: TCP Optimization
- SaaS & Cloud Acceleration: Caching & Deduplication
- Secure Web Gateway: Web filtering and inbound malware protection
- Network Onramp: Director of some sort
- Cloud Management and Orchestration: API and Orchestration Framework
What exactly is the Akamai Cloud Networking Suite and is it a game changer? According to Akamai, “Cloud Networking gives network service providers and branch infrastructure vendors building blocks to extend their existing offerings to meet the hybrid network requirements of their enterprise customers”.
According to a 451 Research report, they are saying that Akamai seeks to provide a reliable Internet for business applications, VPN services, optimized Internet transport, universal SaaS and cloud acceleration, and secure gateway in a single offering. The report also throws in words like “inexpensive broadband Internet connectivity,” “increased agility of WAN deployment,” “200,000 servers,” “preserving security and performance of the MPLS Network,” etc. The best part of the report was left for last, where it states “Akamai’s biggest direct competition comes from newer-generation OTT providers (such as CloudFlare) that have created more customer-driven and automated systems, and minimized the cost of acquiring and serving smaller customers”.
Akamai please, you can do better than this. We’re going to be harsh in our assessment because you are a $10B company and this report is a disaster. It makes no sense, does a horrible job of tying in SD-WAN and CDN, describes SD-WAN as SDWAN in the beginning of the report – then SD WAN at the end. Regardless of what anyone says, the proper way to describe SD-WAN is SD-WAN, not SDWAN because it is easier on the eyes. And worse offense of all, CloudFlare is NOT a “newer-generation OTT provider”. CloudFlare is in the business of Website Acceleration + DDoS Mitigation + WAF.
Conclusion: The real meaning behind the report is that the left hand (AK Products) is not talking to the right hand (AK Marketing). And if they are talking, then Akamai hasn’t figured out how to bundle these services and create a powerful message that resonates with its target market so its feature set sells itself. Akamai – go back to the drawing board and work on the story and wordplay, because this is a billion dollar business, but you’ve made it seem like an afterthought.