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A Few More Tricks From Terra Alta

Last week we introduced Terra Alta to the public (watch video here, under "Akamai's Solution Portfolio") My blog post highlighted analysts talking about the cloud entering its "awkward teenage years" and how Terra Alta is taking on the 4th tier of application delivery to help the "teen cloud" grow up. I also promised I'd be back shortly with some additional insights into new ways Terra Alta helps address application delivery challenges that Akamai previously hadn't been able to impact.

In the past, when our customers have had long think-time applications due to database lookups, Web services calls, or other processing components that slow down origin response times, there wasn't much we could do to help other than speed the content once it was ready to be delivered.  But by then it is usually too late.  The new Terra Alta feature, Akamai Instant, now lets us tackle that delivery challenge head on.  By designating the most likely next pages to be visited by users, Terra Alta is able to start the process of gathering content, making Web service calls, or doing database lookups, before the page is requested by the user, and pre-fetching that content to the edge of the Internet, close to users, prior to the user requesting it.  We've seen this improve the performance of these applications by up to 100% over origin delivery.

We've also had challenges with end users who access accelerated applications from behind centralized DNS infrastructure that make them appear to be at that centralized location.  That means users in Tokyo could appear as though they're in New York and be served content from an Akamai EdgeServer in New York, losing the benefit of Akamai's caching and dynamic optimizations across the public Internet.  Terra Alta's Enterprise DNS Mapping feature allows us to overcome this challenge by remapping users that are behind a centralized DNS to an Akamai EdgeServer that's close to their actual location, such as Tokyo in this case.  Similar to Akamai Instant, we saw performance increases up to 100% faster when using Enterprise DNS Mapping.

The final innovation I wanted to highlight is InstantConfig, which helps to instantly onboard new applications onto Terra Alta without having to do a separate configuration each time. Terra Alta is designed for enterprise use for multiple applications, so this is especially important if there are many applications to add.   Andy Champagne, our VP of Products and Technology for Terra Enterprise Solutions, demonstrated how easy it was to use during the product introduction I referenced above.  He was able to put a new property onto Terra Alta in the blink of an eye, and the result you see here is a decrease in page load time from about 10 seconds down to 1 as soon as he applied InstantConfig.

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That doesn't cover all the ways that Terra Alta can improve your application delivery, but hopefully it piqued your interest.  After its product introduction last week, I was pleased to see some of the positive media buzz from Network Computing, IT Business Edge, and Data Center Knowledge.    If you're ready to help your "teen" cloud strategies grow up, I invite you to learn more here.


Andy Rubinson is a Senior Product Marketing Manager for Terra Enterprise Solutions at Akamai

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