Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Akamai Takes Cloud Computing to the Edge with Gecko

Akamai Technologies has announced plans to embed cloud computing capabilities into its edge network. Akamai’s Generalized Edge Compute (Gecko) is the latest move in Akamai’s multiyear strategy to become a key platform in enterprise multicloud environments. The company says it is another step in the company’s vision for a new kind of cloud designed to meet the needs of modern applications that require higher performance, lower latency, and true global scalability that current cloud architectures were not built to provide.

Akamai has been conducting early trials of Gecko with several of its enterprise customers. The company anticipates that customers in AI inferencing, multiplayer gaming, and social and streaming media are best positioned to take advantage of the power of Gecko. Akamai sees future use cases in areas such as immersive retail, spatial computing, data analytics, and consumer and industrial IoT.

According to Akamai, current industry architectures treat cloud and edge networks separately. Gecko is designed to enable generalised compute to be deployed on top of Akamai’s existing worldwide edge network, taking advantage of existing tools, processes, and observability to provide a consistent experience across the entire continuum of compute from cloud to edge. Gecko will move heavier, traditional compute — usually confined to centralised data centres — to the edge of Akamai’s network. This will bring full-stack computing to hundreds of previously hard-to-reach locations, allowing customers to move workloads closer to their users.

By injecting cloud computing into places that traditional cloud providers have struggled to reach, Akamai says developers will no longer have to think about building for the cloud or building for the edge. As developers demand more from their cloud and edge providers, Akamai’s plan is to unlock opportunities to innovate across the entire continuum of compute by driving the convergence necessary to put cloud computing power at the edge — convergence, it says, not possible before Gecko.

Dr Tom Leighton, Akamai Co-Founder and CEO.

“Gecko is the most exciting thing to happen to the cloud in a decade,” said Dr. Tom Leighton, Akamai Co-Founder and CEO. “It’s the next phase of the roadmap toward a more connected cloud we laid out when we acquired Linode to add cost-effective, cloud-native computing capabilities to our portfolio. We began delivering on that roadmap with the launch of Akamai Connected Cloud and the rapid rollout of new core computing regions around the world. With Gecko, we’re furthering that vision by combining the computing power of our cloud platform with the proximity and efficiency of the edge, to put workloads closer to users than any other cloud provider. When we say we operate at planetary scale, this is what we mean.”

Akamai says the scale of its network, comprising 4100 points of presence around the globe, makes Akamai Connected Cloud the world’s most distributed cloud platform. Akamai anticipates that the ability to harness the power of both the cloud and the edge will give it an advantage as the industry faces increasing demand to deliver better price performance, lower latency, and more robust security for applications and data, built and deployed across a wider continuum of compute.

Akamai is rolling out what it calls a fast-paced, but pragmatic, roadmap for Gecko. In its first phase, Akamai aims to embed compute with support for virtual machines into 100 cities by the end of the year. Already, in 2024, Akamai has deployed new Gecko-architected regions in Hong Kong SAR; Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; Querétaro, Mexico; and Johannesburg, South Africa, as well as in cities without a concentrated hyperscaler presence, including Bogotá, Colombia; Denver, Colorado; Houston, Texas; Hamburg, Germany; and Marseille, France. Deployment of a 10th Gecko region in Santiago, Chile, is planned by the end of the first quarter. Beyond these 10 new Gecko locations and its existing 25 core computing regions, Akamai intends to add hundreds of cities to its global cloud computing footprint over the next several years.

Visit akamai.com

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