IBM, Akamai to speed enterprise access to public apps

The service is designed to improve reliability, performance and security of applications hosted in the public cloud

IBM and Akamai have teamed to try to speed up access to public cloud applications for enterprises and application providers.

IBM's WebSphere Application Accelerator for Hybrid Networks is designed for enterprises that want to improve the reliability, performance and security of applications delivered as a service or hosted in a public cloud.

"The product is focused on enabling businesses to take advantage of the public cloud and SaaS and deliver those to internal network users with the same kind of experience they'd have if they were hosted next door in the corporate data center," said Corey Scobie, chief strategist for application optimization at IBM.

To use WebSphere Application Accelerator for Hybrid Networks, enterprises will need to install IBM's DataPower Edge Appliance XE82, which they will use in combination with a managed service from the companies. The appliance, which will reside in the enterprise data center, essentially creates a hybrid network between the enterprise network and the Internet, the companies said.

Because the appliance resides inside the firewall, it brings Akamai's optimization service inside the enterprise, speeding access to applications hosted in the public cloud, they said.

Depending on the load on the network, the appliance adjusts Akamai settings at the edge of the network, said Andy Rubinson, senior product marketing manager for Akamai's application performance solutions.

The appliance also adds a layer of security. A "handshake" between the Akamai network and the appliance makes sure that only Akamai traffic can enter the enterprise, preventing potential hacker penetration of the enterprise infrastructure, he said.

The improvement in performance will be measurable, the executives said. One measure will be reduced page load times, Rubinson said.

The offering will be a managed service that enterprises will pay for as they use it. The companies did not say when the service and appliance will be available.

They also introduced WebSphere Accelerator for Public Networks, a service available now that is targeted at application providers. The service is designed to help them deliver applications faster by reducing the time it takes to send data from the data center across the Internet, the companies said. The public networks service does not require an appliance.

Nancy Gohring covers mobile phones and cloud computing for The IDG News Service. Follow Nancy on Twitter at @idgnancy. Nancy's e-mail address is Nancy_Gohring@idg.com

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