Akamai Rolls Out Service to Speed Internet-based Applications

Cambridge-based Akamai (NASDAQ: AKAM) is famous for building a global network of Web servers that cache clients’ content closer to users, speeding delivery of popular videos and other information. In the last two years, Akamai has built on that network to help speed all kinds of Web traffic, including the information exchanged via Web-based software applications. And now the company is moving beyond the Web altogether, introducing a service that accelerates any service delivered via Internet Protocol packets, such as VoIP phone conversations.

The service, called IP Application Accelerator, is already being tested by several clients, including Phase Forward, AppRiver, and Talisma, and is now generally available to Akamai customers, the company announced yesterday. AppRiver, for example, is using the service to optimize performance of a service that gives users access to their Outlook Exchange corporate e-mail accounts from homes, hotels, and kiosks.

Akamai hasn’t detailed exactly how the technology works, but says it relies on a combination of techniques including “dynamic mapping, route optimization, high performance transport optimization and packet redundancy.”

“IT professionals know what is important to the business end of the enterprise—increasing productivity by ensuring all classes of applications are optimized for the extended workforce while increasing operational efficiencies,” said Willie Tejada, Akamai’s vice president of product management for Akamai Application Performance Solutions, in a statement. “Now, enterprises can accelerate all of their applications with the availability of our clientless IP Application Accelerator service.”

In the first hour of trading on the NASDAQ exchange this morning, Akamai’s stock was up about 1 percent on the news, to $34.28.

Wade Roush is a freelance science and technology journalist and the producer and host of the podcast Soonish. Follow @soonishpodcast

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