Akamai, Limelight Both Object to CDN Study

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Rival content delivery networks Akamai Technologies and Limelight Networks finally agree on something: they both take issue with the methods used by researchers from Microsoft and NYU in a study on CDN performance published last week. The study found small performance differences between the two CDN providers in North America, but a “big gap in performance” in Europe and Asia, where Akamai has more data centers than Limelight. It also suggested Limelight might be able to equal Akamai’s performance with as few as five additional data center locations.

Both Limelight and Akamai say the researchers were measuring entirely the wrong thing, and Akamai says most of its conclusions are false. Akamai’s full response is posted at Dan Rayburn’s blog, while Limelight has posted its analysis on its company blog, In The Limelight.  

Here’s a question: Why doesn’t Akamai have its own blog with an RSS feed? Akamai publishes tons of cool content on its site, including videos, podcasts, white papers and even data visualizations. The company could instantly increase its visibility with a RSS-enabled blog that provides a central feed to publicize this content. This now concludes my advice from 2006.

UPDATE: Lydia Leong at Gartner has a series of posts critiquing the Microsoft/NYU research at her CloudPundit blog. Lydia’s take: “The bottom line: The Microsoft study is very interesting reading, but it doesn’t provide any useful information about CDN performance in the real world.”

About the Author

Rich Miller is the founder and editor-in-chief of Data Center Knowledge, and has been reporting on the data center sector since 2000. He has tracked the growing impact of high-density computing on the power and cooling of data centers, and the resulting push for improved energy efficiency in these facilities.

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3 Comments

  1. Charlie White

    I would still like to see a more comprehensive comparison of CDN's out ther. Akamai and Limelight have their points on the analysis, but include Edgecast, BitGravity, CDNetworks (unless they use Akamai or Limelight), for performance, support and cost. All three factors are important to a successful solution....

  2. The Microsoft paper seems to be missing in action now! (check the original link).