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IBM And Akamai Boost Cloud App Performance

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The delivery of apps via the cloud have been accelerated thanks to a partnership between Akamai and IBM

IBM has teamed up with Akamai to offer products designed to speed the delivery of web and cloud applications to businesses.

At the IBM Impact 2011 conference, IBM officials said the new offerings are part of a multi-phase initiative that integrates IBM WebSphere technology with Akamai’s global application delivery network.

As part of its relationship with Akamai, IBM is introducing WebSphere Application Accelerator for Public Networks, which is available now. In the future, IBM plans to introduce two additional offerings, WebSphere Application Accelerator for Hybrid Networks, and a supporting product – IBM DataPower Edge Appliance XE82.

Speedy App Delivery

IBM WebSphere Application Accelerator for Public Networks helps businesses deliver applications faster by reducing the time it takes for information to move from the data centre across the Internet to users on the public Internet, IBM said.

The solution also helps protect and secure applications through a scalable network of tens of thousands of servers that can be instantly called upon to serve unexpected bursts of traffic or to protect against intentionally malicious attacks. WebSphere Application Accelerator for Public Networks is available now in the US, Australia, Brazil, Canada, New Zealand and Singapore, and will be rolled out in other countries over the course of the year, IBM officials said.

Moreover, to speed enterprise access to public cloud and Software-as-a-Service (SAAS) applications, IBM plans to introduce IBM WebSphere Application Accelerator for Hybrid Networks, which will create a hybrid network between private enterprise networks and the public Internet. Organisations seeking to increase the speed and reliability of their interactions with public cloud and SAAS applications will benefit from this offering, the company said.

And to bring Akamai’s technology into their private networks, organisations using IBM WebSphere Application Accelerator for Hybrid Networks will require IBM’s DataPower Edge Appliance XE82. This appliance is expected to give enterprises a first-of-its-kind solution that brings the benefits of the Akamai network inside their firewalls, speeding access to applications hosted in the public cloud.

DC Monitoring

Indeed, by monitoring the strain on data centre resources, IBM expects the Edge Appliance to add a new layer of intelligence to the new WebSphere Application Accelerator solutions, company officials said. Through this blend of locally owned and remotely rented network and computing infrastructure, clients will be able to boost application availability and speed both inbound and outbound network traffic.

Moreover, in addition to its role in bringing Akamai inside clients’ firewalls, IBM’s DataPower Edge Appliance XE82 also is expected to help clients using IBM WebSphere Application Accelerator for Public Networks achieve faster application delivery while reducing data centre, infrastructure and network costs.

“The applications we depend on both as consumers and in the enterprise require a great deal of data centre resources,” said Marie Wieck, general manager for application and integration middleware at IBM, in a statement. “The new solutions we’ve created in collaboration with Akamai provide clients with a cost-effective and secure way of speeding the delivery of applications from the enterprise through the Internet to the end-user and back.”

IBM said the continuing rise of interactive web applications such as collaboration and supply chain management and the rapid growth of mobile applications is placing new demands on businesses’ data centers and Internet infrastructure. When these systems are overburdened, it becomes difficult to deliver the intended user experience, resulting in poor application adoption, lost revenue and productivity. At the same time, businesses today have high expectations for web application availability and performance. They are increasingly attracted to the flexibility of cloud delivery models, but they don’t want to sacrifice application performance.

In the past, the only way to improve application performance over the Internet was to build out data centres. Similarly, the only way to ensure that cloud applications performed well within the enterprise was to build complex acceleration infrastructures with each individual cloud service provider. Last year, however, IBM and Akamai set about addressing these challenges with new offerings that accelerate traffic between the public cloud and the data centre, and in turn, improve application performance for users both inside and outside the enterprise.