The emergence of software-as-a-service (SaaS) offerings may stimulate growth of another kind of service -- WAN acceleration.
Akamai, whose Web Application Accelerator Service is among a handful of such offerings worldwide, says SaaS customers can reduce the cost impact of the servers, storage, and IT personnel required to deliver their services by offloading Web-based applications to the Akamai network.
One Akamai customer, Remedy Interactive, backs this claim. "Using Akamai's service has allowed us to go leaner on equipment required for peering relationships. We're leveraging Akamai's caching, so that means we need a less robust infrastructure for managing data on our end," says Ben Archibald, EVP of technology for Remedy Interactive.
Remedy Interactive's need for SAN or NAS storage continue, but the improvements introduced by the use of Akamai mean that a new data center -- and attendant storage -- won't have to be added in order to improve application performance. What's more, Remedy Interactive can stop worrying about partnering with ISPs (and adding expensive equipment at those providers' peering points) in order to deliver Web-based services worldwide.
Archibald says his company, whose Web-based applications are aimed at reducing workers' compensation claims through education, risk assessment, and other kinds of online information, has been able to cut its server-based traffic by 30 percent to 40 percent since adopting the Akamai service. Response time for applications accessed by customers worldwide went up 62 percent and end users spent an average of eight minutes less on Remedy Interactive's applications.