Akamai Diversity

The Akamai Blog

Akamai Improves Global Delivery Performance

As part of Akamai's ongoing investments in improving delivery performance, last month we completed the worldwide deployment of the Bottleneck Bandwidth and RTT (BBR) TCP congestion control algorithm across our Edge Platform. The BBR algorithm is designed to help improve the reliability and resiliency of data by optimizing the rate at which it's transmitted over last-mile networks to end users. After more than a year of extensive testing, we've rolled out a version of BBR that is optimized specifically for the Akamai network to impressive results.

Since its introduction on the Akamai network, BBR has been used as the congestion control algorithm of choice, now serving more than 80 percent of end user connections. Product performance tests and customers have also shown an increase in throughput and improvements in video rebuffering rates.

Below are a few notable examples of delivery performance improvements since BRR was deployed (note that customers are anonymized for public-facing purposes):

Customer Performance  

  • One customer that uses multiple CDN services reported that Akamai moved into the top spot for US CDN performance thanks to a 5 Mbps increase in average throughput immediately following the BBR deployment.

  • Another customer recognized a 5% - 18% improvement in average throughput across the global geographies in which it uses Akamai for video delivery.

Product Performance Testing Results

  • Adaptive Media Delivery

    • Goodput (a measurement of the throughput of useful data) improved by 18.85% for files larger than 1MB

    • Goodput below 5 Mbps decreased 12.36%

    • Slower Than Threshold (a proxy metric for rebuffering) for 8s segments decreased by 11.17%

  • Download Delivery

    • 11.64% median goodput improvement

    • Goodput below 5Mbps decreased 4.20%

The BBR rollout applies to traffic between the Akamai Edge network and client devices for Akamai's Adaptive Media Delivery and Download Delivery products. The improvements are part of Akamai's ongoing commitment to provide our customers with the best possible performance. They don't require additional cost or customer intervention. 

To learn more about Akamai's Media Delivery products or to start a free trial, visit our Adaptive Media Delivery trial page. 

Alex Balford is a senior product marketing manager at Akamai.