Akamai famously lost the first competition it entered, the MIT 50k, before securing funding and becoming a wildly successful start up and one of the largest IPOs in history. Today Akamai is a 2B public company that prides itself on fighting the odds in order to challenge the status quo and provide business value to customers.
One example of this spirit is the rapid rise and success of Akamai's Kona Site Defender product. When we announced that we were adding a cloud-based WAF to our DDoS protection services in 2008, the "experts" - especially our competitors, and even many of our performance customers - dismissed the idea. At the time the market was absolutely dominated by on-premises Web App Firewall companies, and very few people outside of Akamai believed application security could be provided in any place other than the data center.
7 years on, and Kona Site Defender is Akamai's fastest growing (among many successful) product line, and the market is waking up to take notice. 7 years on nearly every legacy WAF provider offers their own cloud-based hybrid alternative to their on-premise solutions. Meanwhile, nearly a dozen legacy CDN competitors are also rushing to offer cloud-based WAFs.
Akamai is proud to be recognized by Gartner for the 2nd consecutive year as a Challenger in the July 2015 "Magic Quadrant for Web Application Firewalls". Akamai's Kona Site Defender is in fact the only cloud-only WAF to be included in the quadrant at all, and to be included in the challenger's quadrant is an achievement we are proud of.
Going forward we will continue to revolutionize the market in order to provide the most value for our customers- regardless of conventional wisdom offered by the experts. Join us -- do the WAF revolution!
Dan Shugrue is a director of product marketing for Cloud Security Solutions at Akamai.
* * * * *
Gartner does not endorse any vendor, product or service depicted in its research publications, and does not advise technology users to select only those vendors with the highest ratings or other designation. Gartner research publications consist of the opinions of Gartner's research organization and should not be construed as statements of fact. Gartner disclaims all warranties, expressed or implied, with respect to this research, including any warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose.