On Akamai

Akamai has some interesting pages about their service that I want to be able to find later, so here they are:

  • Visualisation 1 — attacks, latency and traffic maps. During the July 4 holiday in the US, traffic levels were 14% below normal!
  • Visualisation 2 — performance comparison. Save nearly 60 milliseconds between Sydney and Cambridge, MA if you use Akamai.
  • Visualisation 3 — at the time I write this, Akamai is serving 1.9 million hits per second.

Akamai must have some interesting logging to produce this reporting.

Akamai’s technology at its core, applied mathematics and algorithms – has transformed the chaos of the Internet into a predictable, scalable, and secure platform for business and entertainment. The Akamai EdgePlatform comprises 20,000 servers deployed in 71 countries that continually monitor the Internet traffic, trouble spots and overall conditions. We use that information to intelligently optimize routes and replicate content for faster, more reliable delivery. As Akamai handles 20% of total Internet traffic today, our view of the Internet is the most comprehensive and dynamic collected anywhere.

So there you go.

Is yak shaving a good idea?

There is a common story told in computing circles. You’re trying to get some work done, and before you can finalise it you find that you need to fix a small bug in a library you use. On the way to fixing that bug, you find that you need to improve something else as well, and so on. Eventually you look up and discover that you’re shaving a yak, and that it’s somehow needed to deliver that first project.

I have a theoretical interest in DDoS attacks and especially how they relate to SMTP servers on the Internet at the moment. Somehow that ended up with me reading a bunch of academic research from the ACM portal about email worm behaviour (hence the interest in the recent tech talk from Vern Paxson about the witty worm) and content delivery networks like Akamai.

Reading up on Akamai lead me to discover Planet Lab, which is insanely cool. I’m left with all these wild ideas for side projects to pursue from there.

Bring on the yak.