Akamai presented its state of the union during the investor summit earlier today. As always, the metrics presented are fascinating and important because they give us an in-depth pulse on the Internet and their business model. One of the most interesting parts is the case study on a Top 10 Bank. Based on the slide deck, Akamai charged this specific bank the following prices: $3,500/mo. for a Cloudet, $31,000/mo for Prolexic (initial) and $17,500 for Bot Manager (1 site).
The content delivery and edge security industry is experiencing strong growth. One important market indicator is the growth in infrastructure capacity, as in network and server capacity. At the end of Q1-2017, four of the largest CDNs now have a combined network egress capacity of 100Tbps+. In twelve months, we expect this number to double to 200Tbps, with CloudFlare reaching 20Tbps.
CDN commoditization is coming to an end. There will be no more fighting for deals on price per GB, number of PoPs, reactive feature sets, and so on. The vendor value prop is going to shift from a price/performance conversation to functionality. In fact, the entire CDN vocabulary is going to change, starting from sales all the way up to the CEO.
We have to commend folks like Krebs because writing about hacks day-in and day-out requires a strong mental psychology. We stopped writing about hacks a while back, however, we’re going to break our own rule and write about the latest hack involving The Agency. WikiLeaks claims to have published the “largest ever publication of confidential documents on the agency” called Vault 7. And as an added bonus, every hacking tool The Agency has developed has been open sourced to the global hacking community, in order to help them become more efficient in their jobs.
Cisco has launched an innovative service called Cisco Umbrella, which is a Secure Internet Gateway that leverages the OpenDNS internet infrastructure. Umbrella is the closest Cisco will get to becoming an Edge Security CDN, as we don’t see them acquiring a CDN anytime soon. Cisco Umbrella provides DNS security, URL filtering, file inspection, stops data exfiltration, and stops execution of ransomware encryption. Cisco threw in the towel on its cloud compute ambitions but they’re not doing the same for cloud security. We know that this is just the beginning for them, as they begin their journey to transform their legacy security portfolio to the cloud.
Nikolai Nikiforov, Russia’s Minister for Communications, recently announced plans to launch a new mobile operating system across all the BRICS nations (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) that will challenge the dominance of the US developed Android and iOS. The Russian minister met with Finish developer Jolla to talk about creating a new mobile operating system based on Jolla’s open-source Sailfish OS. His long term ambitions include expanding Sailfish into an entirely international effort. The minister would like employees from IT companies in the BRICS nation to give 20% of their time to work on pan-BRICS initiatives like the new operating system.
Nikiforov told Russian newspaper RBC that across the next decade, he would like the use of non-Russian mobile operating systems to fall to only 50% of market share. According to Gartner analysts, Android currently makes up 81% of Russia’s OS market share and iOS holds 15%. Saltfish OS currently holds only 0.5% of the market, below Blackberry and Windows Mobile. However, combine its lack of ties with the US with its open-source operating system that allows anyone to use it as the foundation of their own software, and Saltfish look likely to prove a strong nominee for a future Russian open system.
Akamai and Amazon are similar in a few ways. Akamai dominates the CDN industry with about 53% market share. Amazon Web Services dominates the cloud industry with 30% market share. Each has three fierce competitors. Also, Akamai has a CDN that is orders of magnitude better than Amazon CloudFront, but Amazon has the leading cloud platform and Akamai has none.
Akamai vs Amazon Web Services
- Akamai: 53% CDN Market Share. $2B Annual Revenue. Main Competitors are Level 3, EdgeCast and Limelight Networks
- AWS: 30% Market Share. $5B Annual Revenue. Main competitors are Google Cloud, Azure and IBM SoftLayer
Zscaler is on fire right now. They have 13M users from a base of 5k companies, doubled their bookings in Q1 2015 over last year, and recently closed a $10M deal with a Global 100 consumer goods company, which sounds like Nestle or Unilever, through a partnership with BT. Zscaler is also innovation driven, having recently introduced a cloud based WAF, which is similar to the Incapsula’s of the world. Indeed, Zscaler is a very interesting start-up that takes the form of many different companies. In some respects, they’re like a FireEye, Incapsula, F5, and Aryaka Networks. Although they’re not a CDN, they employ CDN like infrastructure with hundred plus PoPs all over the world. In terms of revenue, if we take their 13M users x $1/user – $10/user selling price, that equates to $13M/month – $130M/month. That number seems a bit high. Regardless, if Zscaler is generating $10M/month, that’s still an impressive number, and major accomplishment for a start-up.
Zscaler doesn’t offer traditional caching services and middle mile content acceleration, as Akamai would. With that being said, Zscaler also resembles the traditional carrier. CenturyLink, Level 3, and a handful of US carriers offer Zscaler like services, which include a WAF, DLP, Antivirus, Malware Protection, APT, and configuration / reporting via a dashboard. The carriers use 3rd party products like Fortinet, Symantec, Cisco, Imperva, and so on. Some carriers had to develop this type of offering, in order to serve certain government customers. And when it comes to the delivery of the security service, some carriers provide it via an MPLS port that extends to branch locations. One port offers MPLS, voice, data, Internet Access, and security in an any-to-any topology.