Akamai Technologies and IBM on Wednesday unveiled an edge computing service designed to boost the scalability and availability of Web-based enterprise applications.
EdgeSuite for Java based on IBM WebSphere will deploy application logic onto Akamai's global network, allowing Web applications and Web services to execute close to requesting users, according to officials at Akamai, based in Cambridge, Mass.
Running critical Java-based applications at the edge of the Internet can increase application performance and enable on-demand scalability -- two steps toward lowering costs and reducing datacenter complexity, said Thorsten Ganz, director of product marketing at Akamai.
"A lot of customers have over-provisioned sites for unforeseen spikes, but in many cases that infrastructure just sits there and goes unused," he said. "With [EdgeSuite for Java based on IBM WebSphere], you can scale applications on demand, when the demand occurs. You don't have to worry about deploying more servers and software and having people manage that."
Because Akamai's platform supports Web services protocols including SOAP (Simple Object Access Protocol) and UDDI (Universal Description, Discovery, and Integration), enterprises can tap the service to combat latency and scalability issues with Web service deployment, Ganz said.
In addition, the companies have formed a program for early adopters of the new offering. Akamai and IBM plan to incorporate early customer feedback into the continuing development of the service, which is slated for availability in the fourth quarter.
As a charter participant in the early adopter program, Sony Ericsson Mobile Communications will use EdgeSuite for Java based on IBM WebSphere to enable its dealer locator application to scale on demand to reach users worldwide, according to Akamai officials.
CDN services have evolved from the early days of static content delivery, maturing to streaming media delivery and dynamic content assembly at the edge. Combining IBM's WebSphere with Akamai's distributed network brings CDN services to the next evolutionary step, according to Ganz.
"Providing application processing and allowing customers to run applications on the edge is the logical next step," he said. "We view the Akamai network as a giant distributed computer."