I am way behind on my news announcements, or I’d have posted on this earlier: Limelight has bought AcceloWeb.
Like their competitors Aptimize and Strangeloop Networks, AcceloWeb is a software-based solution. FEO is an emerging technology, and it is computationally expensive — far more so than the kind of network-based optimizations that you get in ADCs like F5’s, or WOCs like Riverbed’s. It is also complex, since FEO tries to rewrite the page without breaking any of its elements — especially hard to do with complex e-commerce sites, for instance, especially those that aren’t following architectural best practices (or even good practices).
CDN and FEO services are highly complementary, since caching the optimized page elements obviously makes sense. Level 3 and Strangeloop recently partnered, with Level 3 offering Strangeloop’s technology as a service called CDN Site Optimizer, although it’s a “side by side” implementation in Level 3’s CDN POPs, not yet integrated with the Level 3 CDN. (Obviously, the next step in that partnership would be integration.)
The integration of network optimization and FEO is the most significant innovation in the optimization market in recent years. For Limelight, this is an important purchase, since it gets them into the acceleration game with a product that Akamai doesn’t offer. (Akamai only has a referral deal with Strangeloop.)
Gartner clients: My research note on improving Web performance (combining on-premise acceleration, CDN / ADN, and FEO for complete solutions) will be out soon!