When most DevOps teams think about platforms, it’s usually a conversation about some form of software sitting on a server in a data center. But many web and mobile applications employ a content delivery network (CDN) as the platform on which they depend most to run. Akamai Technologies is moving to provide DevOps teams with much greater visibility into and control over what’s occurring across its namesake CDN.
Ari Weil, senior director of industry marketing at Akamai, says CDNs now play a pivotal role in enabling IT organizations to deploy web and mobile applications in the cloud. To provide DevOps teams with more control over those deployments, Akamai is committing to treat the core CDN as code that can be programmatically invoked in addition to providing real-time visibility into applications running on Akamai and simplyfing the modification of applications in production, says Weil.
As part of that effort, Weil says, Akamai is expending the range of application programming interfaces (APIs) that it exposes via toolsets spanning frameworks such as Terraform, Varnish and WordPress. The goal is to expand significantly the level of scripting and automation enabled by the Akamai CDN. Akamai is also making available a testing suite that DevOps teams can employ to test and fix applications in real time.
Akamai is making it possible to deploy custom configurations and code across Akamai’s CDN in minutes, including the ability to remove content in seconds and revert to past configurations whenever necessary.
Akamai has also released mPulse Lite, a free version of a digital performance management tool that identifies ways to improve application performance and the end user experience, and its IoS mobile application and companion IoS watch app to specifically optimize the performance of iOS applications accessing the Akamai CDN.
Most DevOps teams are hyperfocused on what occurs inside the data center. But in the age of extended enterprise the level of dependency on caching and security services provided enabled by a CDN has never been greater. The fact that Akamai has also begun a more DevOps initiative is also testament to how far the DevOps movement has been able to extend its influence. Historically, providers of external services have been reluctant to provide any visibility into how their network services operate.
Weil notes that it’s apparent the developers are also exercising more influence and control over IT. As such, providers of external services are now under more pressure to programmatically expose their services in much the same way as any other cloud service. In fact, many cloud service providers are leveraging their global footprint to make available CDN services that rival Akamai.
Regardless of the CDN chosen, developers are under more pressure than ever from the business to optimize the end user application experience. Mobile and web applications are core to any digital business transformation initiative. In the face of that pressure, DevOps teams are finding that having more control over the CDN used to deliver those applications is now an absolute necessity.