Akamai Introduces Managed Internet Service for Delivery of Virtualized Applications and Desktops

Akamai IP Application Accelerator solution now enables cost-efficient, 'anywhere, anytime' access to virtual desktop infrastructure

September 21, 2009

6 Min Read
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CAMBRIDGE, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Akamai Technologies, Inc. (NASDAQ: AKAM), the leader in powering video, dynamic transactions and enterprise applications online, today announced the industry's first managed Internet service for optimizing delivery of virtualized applications and desktops. Leveraging core technology from the Akamai IP Application Accelerator solution, the new targeted offering is designed to help enterprises realize the cost efficiency, scalability and global reach inherent with the Internet to deliver applications over virtual desktop infrastructure products offered by companies such as Citrix, Microsoft, and VMware.

Featuring customized integrations through professional services specific to virtual desktops, along with new, concurrent user-based pricing, Akamai's latest offering is focused on making it easier and more cost effective for enterprises to realize the intended return on investment of their virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI).

With virtual desktop connected devices forecasted to grow to approximately 66 million by the end of 2014, or 15 percent of all traditional professional desktop PCs1, enterprises are quickly adopting virtualization as a key component of their cost-containment efforts. Still, companies face major challenges to assuring the performance and scale of their VDI, including:

  • a user's proximity from a centralized virtualization environment has a direct impact on performance and availability;

  • high amounts of bandwidth are consumed by virtual protocols , e.g. virtualized desktop computing for 100 users in a branch can easily consume more than a T1/E1 of bandwidth on its own; and,

  • high cost and uptime issues associated with private-WAN connections in emerging territories where outsourcing and off-shoring are commonplace.

Deployment of virtualized applications and desktops over Akamai's globally-distributed network of over 50,000 servers is designed to ensure high performance regardless of a user's location. In addition, enterprises that adopt Akamai solutions can often eliminate the need to build out or upgrade costly private networks limited by preset reach and scale. Instead, Akamai allows for highly scalable and secure virtual desktop deployments to anyone, anywhere, across an Internet-based platform spanning 70 countries.

"We see the desktop virtualization market poised for significant growth and believe that our unique managed services model allows us to work with enterprises on large, global deployments of their virtual desktop infrastructure," said Willie M. Tejada, vice president, Application and Site Acceleration, Akamai. "We have seen good traction beyond browser-based applications since launching IP Application Accelerator, and this customized offering will allow us to focus even more on virtualization, meeting the needs of our enterprise clients through a user-based pricing model."

The Akamai IP Application Accelerator solution targeted for VDI is intended to allow enterprises to optimize application user performance-anywhere, anytime. With no requirement that customers make capex outlays or implement software changes or client-side software, Akamai's unique technology has been designed to transparently eliminate latency introduced by Internet routing, packet loss, and constrained throughput, which are all critical to providing acceptable virtualized user experiences. Performance improvements can be realized through several techniques including dynamic mapping, route optimization, packet redundancy algorithms, and transport protocol optimization."We are excited to collaborate with Akamai to meet the needs of today's global enterprise. Akamai's IP Application Accelerator for VDI is a perfect complement to Citrix desktop virtualization solution and HDX technology. Together with Akamai, Citrix virtual desktop and application customers can provide the best possible user experience using the public Internet instead of building their own proprietary networks," said Sumit Dhawan, vice president of product marketing at Citrix Systems. "Through the combination of Citrix and Akamai, optimization of the user experience will happen in the datacenter, in the Internet cloud, and the end point, allowing IT to deliver a rich user experience with virtual desktops to any user anywhere."

The Tolly Group, a leading, global provider of independent testing and third-party validation services for the IT industry, has issued a report validating the Akamai solution for virtualization. The report (www.akamai.com/tolly) indicates that, by enabling Asia Pacific users to have the same performance as those in the U.S., Akamai demonstrated throughput improvements for a Citrix XenDesktop and NetScaler environment by up to 700 percent, advancing adoption and improving ROI associated with virtual application and desktop deployments.

"Enterprises around the world can leverage virtual desktop solutions to improve user productivity and reduce IT costs," said Kevin Tolly, founder of The Tolly Group. "Such a solution is only viable, however, if the wide-area network over which the services are delivered can provide adequate performance and availability. Implementing the Akamai IP Application Accelerator service in conjunction with the Citrix XenDesktop virtual desktop solution provides widely-distributed end users with a very consistent performance."

Entisys Solutions, integrator of virtualization solutions from the data center to the desktop, is a leading value-added reseller of the new Akamai solution as part of broader Citrix reference architecture for virtualization. Entisys has worked closely with Akamai to test the impact of the Akamai solution on Citrix Virtual Application and Desktop Infrastructures and the results have been significant.

"We see the combination of Akamai and Citrix Delivery Center Infrastructures as a way to extend enterprise virtual desktop and application deployments to a global user base, insuring a consistent, strong performing user experience. We are thrilled to be one of Akamai's first resellers of this technology, and see this as a standard part of our global infrastructure offering around virtual desktop and application infrastructures," said Mike Strohl, CEO of Entisys Solutions, Inc. and Agile360, a Citrix Platinum Partner and Partner of the Year for North America in 2007, as well as the State and Local Partner of the Year in 2008.The new targeted Akamai solution for optimizing virtual applications and desktops is generally available today for enterprises and cloud computing providers offering hosted desktops as a service. Pricing scales based on the number of concurrent users.

To experience the benefits of Akamai IP Application Accelerator solution targeted for VDI, please visit www.akamai.com/VDI_Demo.

1. Gartner: Emerging Technology Analysis: Hosted Virtual Desktops, February 2009.

The Akamai Difference

Akamai?? provides market-leading managed services for powering video, dynamic transactions, and enterprise applications online. Having pioneered the content delivery market one decade ago, Akamai's services have been adopted by the world's most recognized brands across diverse industries. The alternative to centralized Web infrastructure, Akamai's global network of tens of thousands of distributed servers provides the scale, reliability, insight and performance for businesses to succeed online. Akamai has transformed the Internet into a more viable place to inform, entertain, advertise, interact, and collaborate. To experience The Akamai Difference, visit www.akamai.com.Akamai Statement Under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act

The release contains information about future expectations, plans and prospects of Akamai's management that constitute forward-looking statements for purposes of the safe harbor provisions under The Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 including statements about expected growth in the desktop virtualization market. Actual results may differ materially from those indicated by these forward-looking statements as a result of various important factors including, but not limited to, the effects of any attempts to intentionally disrupt our services or network by hackers or others, failure of certain technologies to work as expected, changes in technologies offered by Citrix or other third parties and/or Akamai technologies that limit or eliminate inter-operability, failure of customers to adopt, or delays in their adoption of, Akamai services discussed above, a failure of Akamai's network infrastructure, and other factors that are discussed in the Company's Annual Report on Form 10-K, quarterly reports on Form 10-Q, and other documents periodically filed with the SEC. 

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