The cloud offers enterprises big and small, the opportunity to lower capital costs and improve efficiency, but it might be coming at a cost of speed, for some organizations. In an effort to help accelerate cloud connections, networking vendor Riverbed has partnered with content delivery network provider Akamai in a new joint solution.
The Steelhead Cloud Accelerator combines an on-premise Riverbed hardware appliance with an optimized service delivery from Akamai, which is running Steelheads, as well.
"Based on the advanced technology developed by Riverbed and Akamai, with simply a URL we can recognize where a cloud provider's data center is located and which of the over 1,900 Akamai points of presence is closest to that data center," Joe Ghorry, product marketing manager at Riverbed, told InternetNews.com. "From there we route across the Akamai network and dynamically install a cloud Steelhead into that location."
As such, the connection from an enterprise through to the closest Akamai point of presence receives the full benefit of Riverbed's WAN acceleration and optimization capabilities. The overall result is a reduction in latency and improved performance.
Mike Cucchi, product marketing manager at Akamai told InternetNews.com that one use-case for the new cloud accelerator is with Microsoft's Office 365 cloud service. From a Chicago office it normally takes 85 milliseconds on average to connect to Office 365. In contrast, with the Riverbed Akamai solution, latency is cut down to only 25 millisecond.
Cucchi noted that the Internet is made up of thousands of networks connected together with BGP routing, which is often inefficient.
"What we're doing is identifying the fastest path between locations," Cucchi said. "We also have the ability to provide packet resiliency, so there is zero packet loss on our platform."
The initial iteration of the Riverbed-Akamai solution will support Google Apps, Salesforce.com and Microsoft Office 365. Riverbed and Akamai have been working together on the joint platform since at least May of 2011 when the two firms initially announced their partnership.