Akamai Diversity

The Akamai Blog

Akamai Delivers Fast Deployment and Edge Computing for Developers With March 2020 Release

With each iteration, Akamai moves nearer to our goal of enabling elite performance by the development teams that depend on Akamai for delivering reliable and highly performant experiences to their customers. The March 2020 release empowers teams to develop at the Akamai edge with even greater velocity, security, and visibility.

This blog post is the final installment in a series of posts highlighting new features and capabilities included in the March 2020 updates to the Akamai Intelligent Edge Platform. Each day of this week, we've focused on a different aspect of this release.

  • On Monday, we discussed the security enhancements to Bot Manager, Fast DNS, Kona Site Defender, Managed Security Service, Prolexic Routed, and Web Application Protector.

  • Tuesday was a second day of security updates, including those made to Enterprise Threat Protector, DNSi CacheServe, Fast DNS, and Identity Cloud.

  • Wednesday's focus was on enhancements to traffic and content delivery.

  • Yesterday's post detailed web performance and how video optimization impacts your customers' digital experiences.

  • And today is for developers and customers looking for high-velocity deployments, Edge Computing, and other ways to manage Akamai as code.

In today's post, we look at the enhanced capabilities that will be of greatest interest to development and operations teams -- the hands-on users who count on Akamai for high-performance delivery of the applications and digital experiences they create: our new Fast Deployment methods, expanded Edge Computing, and new testing options.

Fast Deployment -- Spin Up New Properties in Minutes

Increasingly, Akamai customers are embracing DevOps methodologies within their organizations. With this release, Akamai ushers in a new era of high-speed deployments and configurations by putting greater control in the hands of developers and thorough integration with existing CI/CD workflows. Now, new properties can be spun up and configuration changes deployed in a matter of minutes using our UI, APIs, or connectors.

Our new Terraform provider and templates allow customers to quickly onboard new properties and make configuration changes in a replicable and predictable fashion as part of their CI/CD processes. Developers can provision and manage properties and DNS zones as code -- programmatically managing site delivery. In addition, we've streamlined the processes for spinning up new properties to greatly reduce the time and workload involved in creating new digital experiences. Also with this release, the Akamai Pipeline now syncs with the Akamai Control Center to capture any manual configuration changes and incorporate them into your CI/CD workflow.

The net result is a high-velocity deployment experience engineered with the needs of DevOps practitioners and other high-performance development and operations teams in mind. We understand the challenges that slow-to-market deployments create for development teams and the customers they support. Our new Fast Deployment capability is truly a game-changer. 

Check out our video walkthrough of the new Fast Deployment process.

Edge Computing -- Enforce Logic at the Edge

Akamai's EdgeWorkers puts computation and logic as close as possible to your users for fast development and implementation of modifications to digital experiences. Just as caching content at the edge enhances delivery, moving the applicable logic to the edge can help improve the performance of your applications and properties. Because EdgeWorkers is JavaScript-based, developers are able to work in a language they are familiar with -- unburdened from having to learn a new syntax. EdgeWorkers enables teams to work independently, spinning up new microservices and focusing on the logic relevant to their particular service. 

With EdgeWorkers, serverless functions run directly on the edge. Simple services have full access to the request and delivery insights; more complex microservices can leverage data embedded in the function or remote data solutions. Services can access all of the data from the HTTP request, including cookies, headers, URL, and query parameters. Read our detailed post on how to create microservices using EdgeWorkers.

EdgeWorkers is currently available to Akamai customers; if you haven't already, sign up to start using EdgeWorkers. The list of use cases has expanded considerably since EdgeWorkers was initially made available in October of 2019 and will continue to grow throughout 2020.

EdgeWorkers now provides controls for content caching at the edge, helping developers to quickly and programmatically impact customers' digital experiences. In moving content and computation to the edge, latency and dependencies on origin infrastructure are greatly reduced. This allows your teams to conduct A/B testing and feature experiments using cached content instead of taxing internal resources. You can also personalize customer experiences by modifying the path to cached images and other content based on variables such as customer location or time of day.

New capabilities in our March release include:

Change URL and Origin Support

You can now modify both the path and query arguments for a request and determine to which origin the request should be routed. Changes to the user experience include: 

  • Device personalization without redirects

  • Image optimization for device and browser

  • Origin load balancing

  • A/B testing using cached content

  • Controlled rollouts of new applications

Cache Key Controls

To optimize cached delivery, you can now programmatically define cache keys. Optimizing keys ensures the correct cached content is delivered, and improves offload and performance.

Failover Integration

The new failover integration enables you to provide an alternative action when an EdgeWorker function fails. You can specify content to be served in place of the error status code as a redirect or new request (even to another origin).

Sandbox Integration

Our new Sandbox integration lets you build and test EdgeWorkers locally or centrally in an Akamai Sandbox environment prior to deployment.

TypeScript Bindings

We've published TypeScript bindings to the EdgeWorkers JavaScript API. TypeScript development provides useful IDE integrations for faster and more accurate coding, preventing bugs found late in the release cycle. Learn more.

Expanded Testing -- Updates to Test Center and Sandbox

The March 2020 includes improvements to our developer-focused testing options. We've added a GUI for one-click Sandbox testing. We've also deployed multiple improvements to Akamai Test Center, including:

  • Default test suites

  • Test case cloning

  • PDF reporting

Summary and Further Details

Our customers have made it clear that they are enthused about increased velocity, security, and visibility for their developer teams. As more organizations are embracing a DevOps approach -- rapid iterations, distributed teams, microservice-centered sites and apps, and automation of deployments -- we are committed to provide the tools and support they need to achieve their goals of fast, tested, and secure go-to-market for the customers they support.

Read more about these updates below.

Akamai Pipeline

Akamai Sandbox

Akamai Test Center

EdgeWorkers

Terraform Integration


Akamai Pipeline

Using Akamai Pipeline and the Akamai CLI for Property Manager package, you can treat configuration changes just like any other piece of code and automate the propagation of these changes through your development pipeline. This release enables server-side CI/CD pipeline sync to ensure that manual changes are seamlessly updated in your CI/CD workflows.

Key Features

Server-side CI/CD pipeline sync

Akamai Pipeline now syncs with Control Center to capture any manual configuration changes and integrate with the CI/CD pipeline


Akamai Sandbox

This release deploys a new GUI for Sandbox, enabling customers to launch new Sandbox environments with the click of a button.

Key Features

Sandbox UI

Complements the existing Akamai Sandbox command line interface (CLI) with a new graphical user interface


Akamai Test Center

This release delivers several improvements to the Akamai Test Center, providing more varied and robust testing options and additional reporting features.

Key Features

Multiple improvements

Multiple improvements to Akamai Test Center, including default test suites, test case cloning, and PDF reporting


EdgeWorkers

With this release, EdgeWorkers capabilities are expanded to include controls for content caching at the edge and the ability to modify path and query arguments, enabling developers to quickly and programmatically impact customers' digital experiences. This release also adds failover options and integration with the Akamai Sandbox, as well as new TypeScript bindings.

Key Features

Sandbox integration

Create and test EdgeWorkers within an Akamai Sandbox environment

Change URL and origin support

Modify path and query arguments for a request and determine to which origin the request should be routed

Cache key controls

Programmatically define cache keys

Failover integration

Determine an alternative action in case an EdgeWorkers function fails

TypeScript bindings

Published TypeScript bindings to the EdgeWorkers JavaScript API


Terraform Integration

We've created a new Terraform provider to give development teams the ability to leverage Terraform within their CI/CD workflows for fast deployment of new properties and configurations.

Key Features

Ion, Edge DNS, and GTM support

Provision and manage properties and DNS zones as code to programmatically manage site delivery, DNS, and traffic management components as part of the CI/CD process

Terraform templates

Terraform template configuration files allow customers to onboard new web properties onto the Akamai platform in a repeatable and predictable manner

Leave a comment