RealTime IT News

IBM, Akamai Say 'On Demand' is 'In Demand'

IBM and Akamai have announced the first users for their joint IT infrastructure offering.

The collaboration -- which marries IBM's WebSphere middleware with Akamai's edge server network -- allows companies handle periodic traffic surges, such as a sales promotion that draws millions of Web site hits in a few hours. The partnership was first announced last month.

Early adopters of the Akamai EdgeComputing powered by WebSphere service include: Web channel operator Internet Broadcasting Systems (IBS) and cruise line company Royal Caribbean. Financial terms of the agreements were not disclosed.

IBS is extending its dynamic content out to the edge by running Web-based applications for polling and surveys across Akamai's global network, significantly decreasing the load on its own servers.

"It is vital for our television station customers to solicit input from viewers," said Dave Abbott, CTO of IBS. "We needed our polling application to withstand spikes in requests around major news events, when viewer feedback becomes even more critical."

Royal Carribbean is evaluating the offering for its Web site, to provide more personalized information and overall performance.

It will alow us "to deploy Web applications that leverage Akamai's globally distributed network, improving the user experience, and allowing us to effectively scale to demand surges generated by our marketing initiatives," said Bernard Gay, a Royal Carribbean technology vice president.

In a recent interview with internetnews.com, Akamai CEO George Conrades said edge, or on-demand computing, was a natural evolution from the Cambridge, Mass.-based company's content and applications delivery network businesses.

Akamai EdgeComputing powered by WebSphere is available today through Big Blue's Global Services (IGS) as well as Akamai. It can be hosted by a customer, business partner, or IBM Global Services. IGS can also help companies integrate the solution through a range of consulting services.

The service is priced based on volume of application requests serviced by Akamai each month.