Rumors around exactly what Akamai would do with the technology it gained from last year's Verivue acquisition have been put to rest as the network provider debuted two new products for its Aura Operator CDN (OCDN) platform: Aura Lumen and Aura Spectra. The products target large telecom and cable operators looking to capitalize on IP media delivery.
Aura Lumen leverages Verivue technologies as a licensed CDN product, while Aura Spectra is a SaaS model using existing Akamai CDN technology.
Each software-only solution addresses specific operator demands. Aura Lumen runs on standard COTS (commercial off-the-shelf) hardware, easing capex costs for operators that want to deploy their own solution, the company said. IPTV service providers want to leverage CDNs to improve their performance and manage multiscreen offerings for content publishers, OTT content aggregators, application developers and set-top box vendors.
Akamai has made steady moves into the content delivery network realm, delivering live events and video on demand over IP networks. Two years ago, the provider opened up its Akamai Network Solutions CDN platform to operators.
"We had managed CDN technology, and were developing licensed CDN technologies. We purchased Verivue last year to accelerate this component," Frank Childs, director of product marketing in the Networks Division at Akamai, told FierceTelecom.
With the number of pay TV subscribers worldwide approaching 850 million in 2012, Akamai saw an opportunity to help telecoms and cable operators improve control of network traffic, Childs said.
"[Aura Lumen] is a suite for network operators; they own and operate their own scalable CDN for multiscreen video, large object delivery and caching," he said.
"What we've added to Verivue platform is ability to connect licensed CDN back to the operator platform," Childs said. "It's a true TV Everywhere approach. [Subscribers] can federate back to the Akamai platform when they're off their network."
The addition of LCDN and SaaS components is a response to a growing trend among carriers watching their bottom line.
"Many carriers are taking a very different approach to their CDN strategy than they did only a few years ago," said Paris Burstyn, senior analyst at Ovum. "In the past, there was a strong desire for operators to build their own CDN and go it alone in the market. Now, they actively seek a partnership approach to address their needs."
With competitors like Limelight--itself rumored to be in talks to be acquired by Verizon (NYSE: VZ)--and Level 3 (NYSE: LVLT) pushing CDN service prices downward, Akamai is banking on its reputation as a network security and IP acceleration provider to attract carriers to its Aura offering.
"When we looked at our licensed as well as SaaS technology, it was important to use the same strict principles that Akamai uses. Pure play HTTP and DNS; the request router is used based on DNS and mapping rules; and delivery is based on HTTP," Childs said.
Childs said that Korea Telecom built its new CDN network using Aura Spectra technology, and Akamai had already gained U.S. cable operators Charter Communications and Cox Communications when it purchased Verivue.
It's likely that Akamai has more plans for the CDN space. "We have a number of requests [from customers]," Childs said. "CDN delivery is a logical first-step application. The delivery component seems like an easier thing to virtualize under that strategy."
- see the release
Akamai acquiring Verivue
Verivue CEO: Tier 1 telcos look to build CDNs as video traffic surges