When Apple approached Akamai to build a private relay solution to protect Safari users, the latter ended up creating a custom solution for them. It sent a strong signal to Akamai that there was a growing appetite for compute solutions that offer an alternative to what hyperscalers like AWS provide. Akamai wanted its solution to be easy, developer focussed and evolve with changing market dynamics. At the same time, they didn’t want to compete with hyperscalers like AWS for every functionality. That’s what attracted them to Linode.

According to Shawn Michels, VP of Product Management at Akamai, three things attracted Akamai towards Linode: product, people and vision. “Linode’s vision was to accelerate innovation by making compute solutions accessible, democratized, easy to use, and affordable,” he said. It aligned very well with what Akamai was trying to do and the rest is history.

When asked what this acquisition meant for Linode and its users, the simplest answer Michels had: It makes Linode scalable and now Linode users can scale as much as they want.

Key takeaways from this interview:

  • Akamai’s background was primarily centered around helping customers deliver applications across the globe but securing those applications became an important consideration.
  • Security risks continue to rise with an increase in the different types of attacks and threat vectors. Security threats are also becoming more sophisticated with an increase in the pace of threats also.
  • Akamai was attracted to Linode for where they fit in the alternative cloud market and the product that they have which aligns with where Akamai wanted to take its solution. They wanted the compute capabilities with an amazing developer experience and great customer support.
  • Akamai wanted to democratize compute and their network to enable developers to build on top of their platform.
  • Akamai’s vision is that its acquisition of Linode will bring together Linode’s focused compute solution with the scale Akamai can bring to create a new solution well suited for the next evolution in enterprise compute utilization.
  • As more companies evolve and move on-premises to the cloud, and their cloud experience matures, Akamai expects more customers in the enterprise space looking for focused compute storage and networking solutions.
  • Akamai supports developers with a comprehensive set of developer tools to support them wherever they are on their journey, whether early stage and building their first prototype to needing the global scale of Akamai immediately and all the power of Akamai’s edge services.
  • Akamai has not looked to alter Linode’s DNA but Akamai has created a compute team at the epicenter of the company. Although new services and functionalities may be added over time, the Linode brand is going to be kept the same. How Linode and Akamai will continue to fit together and work together to offer solutions is being discussed.
  • Both Linode and Akamai continue to invest heavily in the open source community, participating in open source standards and open source specifications. This is something they will continue to contribute to.

Guest: Shawn Michels (LinkedIn)
Company: Akamai (Twitter)
Show: Let’s Talk
Keyword: Alternative Cloud, Alternative Cloud Provider

About Shawn Michels: Shawn Michels is Vice President of Product Management at Akamai. He and his team are responsible for driving the worldwide strategy for Akamai’s Edge Compute products and capabilities.

About Akamai: Akamai powers and protects life online. Leading companies choose Akamai to build, deliver, and secure digital experiences. With the most distributed compute platform — cloud to edge— customers can build modern apps while keeping experiences closer to users and threats farther away.

The summary of the show is written by Emily Nicholls.

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