RealTime IT News

Speedera Takes Aim at Akamai with New CDN Suite

In an effort to up the ante in a sector that, like many others, has seen a serious shakeout in the past year, Speedera Networks Inc. Tuesday unveiled a set of managed services poised to bolster content delivery at the CDN 2001 conference in San Jose, Calif. SpeedSuite, as it's called, takes direct aim at giant Akamai Technologies Inc.'s EdgeSuite.

Santa Clara, Calif.'s Speedera is making such aggressive claims and pitches on the strength of certain capabilities of its new suite. According to Speedera's Vice President of Marketing Gordon Smith, SpeedSuite will cost enterprises some $7,500 per month, or half that of Akamai's EdgeSuite. Moreover, it's got improved features, such as global edge service (to EdgeSuite's regional edge service), as well as services that EdgeSuite doesn't offer, including live streaming, secure streaming and global load balancing. It also offers 2 megabits of bandwidth to Akamai's one.

Smith told InternetNews.com that in addition to yanking some customers, such as IFILM, from Akamai's once steely grasp, Speedera has entered as the No. 2 horse in what has essentially become a two-horse race of independent, multi-network content delivery networks (CDNs).

"I would say we have taken about 30 customers away while Akamai has taken none of ours," Smith explained. "So, I would say the score is 30-zip. I would say they switched because they want better quality, performance, management tools, controls and pricing. If they [potential customers] are comparing us against EdgeSuite, with half the price and twice the features, SpeedSuite is an irresistible value proposition."

But don't take it from Smith, who is supposed to hype his firm's products. IFILM's Chief Technology Officer Blair Harrison attested to the value proposition of Speedera's SpeedSuite over EdgeSuite.

"We needed a vendor who could supply us with a complete suite of services for delivering any kind of content from our web site, and deliver it cost-effectively to a global audience," Harrison said. "Speedera Networks clearly stood out as the most capable player to do that for us."

HRTC Group founder and principal analyst Greg Howard also supported SpeedSuite.

"eBusinesses are maturing and becoming more demanding about CDN services, requiring support for whole site delivery and dynamic content as well as other complex content such as streaming media and secure content," said Howard. "These advanced customer requirements paired with budget constraints are separating the weak from the strong among the CDN players in the market. SpeedSuite addresses these changing market demands and demonstrates a solid position for Speedera."

Indeed a new study by Gartner Dataquest underscores the huge market there is for IT services overall; worldwide IT services revenue is projected to reach $554 billion in 2001, a 7.1 percent increase over 2000 revenue of $517 billion.

To that end, Smith said that while Speedera's solution can be purchased piecemeal, the "suite approach" of SpeedSuite is a plus because customers desiring a complete package can manage it through one interface. SpeedSuite is available immediately.

In addition to IFILM, Speedera also serves such technology notables as Amazon.com, Hewlett-Packard Co. and AMD.

Still, Akamai remains the No. 1 CDN. It recently announced the signing of EdgeSuite contracts by various and sundry firms, including Amtrak, Esprit de Corp, KB Toys, Peapod Inc., The Sharper Image, and Target Corp.