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August 2016 Archives

A practical guide to web resource caching, 2016 update

Significant technology and usage changes have emerged since the initial publication of the practical guide to web resource caching. This updated edition revisits the recommendations issued earlier and brings new focus on:

  • Fast Purge, the ability to invalidate or delete assets from the Akamai network in five seconds, and
  • API usage, prevalent in native mobile and single page applications.

Mobile Game Shame

When I glance at my phone, there's always a number that hurts my feelings a little bit. It triggers a mix of shame and trepidation, and I almost immediately want to flip to another page on the phone just so I can avoid it.

It's not my step counter.

It's the number of apps I have to update on the app store. I'm up to about 120 now.

For service providers, achieving the subscriber communications trifecta is nearly impossible: that is, sending the right message to the right person. Email is a heavily used subscriber communications method, given both its low cost and the ability for subscribers to view the message at their convenience.

Rio Was All Digital, All the Time

From Simone Biles's incredible routines to Usain Bolt's lightning sprints to Michael Phelps's record-shattering gold medal performances, Rio was packed with excitement. Yet there's been a lot of press coverage highlighting how the number of people watching the games on linear TV declined vs. prior years, typically by a 10-20% average.

There's been a ton of great action from Rio already, and as expected digital viewing is sprinting ahead, setting new records. Here at Akamai, we're supporting the streaming efforts of over 50 different broadcasters and partners with rights to the games, so we have relatively unique insights into viewership. In fact, we've already broken a couple of records ourselves: In just the first three days of Rio, Akamai delivered more video traffic than for all 17 days of London in 2012. Just two days later, we exceeded the total for Sochi in 2014; and three days after that we topped London and Sochi combined.

Vulnerability Management at Akamai

Akamai's InfoSec team has been documenting security vulnerabilities on this blog for years, and we have long evangelized the security benefits of keeping companies' systems current by applying the latest patches.  Today, management of vulnerabilities and application of the latest patches has become a critical component of any InfoSec program.

Akamai is aware of a vulnerability, announced at the USENIX Security conference on Aug 10, 2016, which describes a vulnerability in the Linux kernel's tcp stack implementation (kernel versions 3.6 to 4.6).  At a high-level, a patient adversary can leverage rate-limited challenge ACK's on a non-secure tcp connection to conduct a hijacking attack.

A year ago Akamai's Threat Research Team exposed a "Blackhat Search Engine Optimization (SEO)" attack campaign. The goal of the campaign was to manipulate search engines rankings and grow visibility for a web site that allows users to share their cheating and infidelity stories.

Why Brazil Was the Most Viewed Digital Games Ever!

With an event where every second is so wrought with consequence and expectation, success for online hinges on capturing every microscopic moment. As always, we witnessed many record-setting athletic triumphs, which thrilled fans around the world. But off-the-field records were also set: the 2016 games had the greatest volume of online views, consuming the largest amount of content, across the widest variety of devices. Akamai shattered expectations, setting the standard for a world beyond broadcast.

Rapidly changing technology is disrupting the way retailers and consumers interact with each other and creating avenues of interaction that were not even possible a few years ago.  However, this pace of change and the pure volume of available solutions can be overwhelming and make it difficult for retailers to prioritize solutions that can really help them move the needle.

Performance Beyond Caching - Front End Optimization

"The level of stress caused by mobile delays was comparable to watching a horror movie" 

Source: Ericsson Mobility Report                   

As the above quote highlights, Performance Matters today more so than ever before. Having a fast and reliable website is expected and for many organizations, performance has become a mission critical goal. Now, we've all heard the old saying, cache is king. The goal was to cache as much content and as close to the end user as possible to achieve maximum performance. Pretty simple concept, but for anyone that has attempted this in practice without an intelligent Content Delivery Network (CDN) can certainly attest the challenge is immense.