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Akamai Edge 2017 Conference- No homeruns but many extra base hits

by Ted Chamberlin  |  October 16, 2017  |  Submit a Comment

Along with my colleagues Mike Dorosh and Fernando Elizalde, I attended Akamai’s Edge user conference last week.  This is my first Edge conference so I didn’t have a ton of expectations on content, audience and presentations. Here is the scorecard:

Home runs- None to report; the focus on Broadcasting, OTT and media services were solid shots towards the wall though.

Triples- Production value of keynotes and panels.  CEO Tom Leighton did a very good job not over-complicating the technology advancements in most of the product portfolios. He also intrigued many with the machine learning and peer to peer guided demos. Andrew MacAfee, a Sloan MIT business analyst keynote was very good and provided larger context to how decision making should be done in the enterprises.  The Mpluse analytics tools will go along way to keep retail and commerce customers from defecting to the handful of vertically focused CDN/digital experience optimization providers hitting the market.

Doubles– The customer panels were solid, extra base hits.  The Future-State of Your OTT Workflow and the Cloud Eric Black, CTO & SVP, NBC Sports Digital; Bill Zurat, VP Core media BAMTech was my favorite panel but I was intrigued how much both NBC and Bamtech viewed cloud through a pure cost avoidance lens with little focus on innovation.  Customer Panel: The Economics of Distribution — Can OTT Match Traditional with Dan Myers, Head of Product | PlayStation Vue, Sony Playstation Damon Pegg, Head of Network Strategy & Architecture, Sky was good but every panelist had such divergent views on their economic model of OTT distribution.  They all did agree that broadband is the key for quality of experience. The developer zone was a nice surprise for a company that only recently has put a concerted effort to cater to devops needs; the Terraform and Varnish integrations are a step in the right direction. The IoT workflow, Kona for enterprise applications and the improved functionality around Bot Manager premier all are needed improvements.

Singles- The various road maps for the web performance and media services were solid but nothing earth shattering.  The Nominum acquisition helps the carrier business to a degree. Datastream and Cloud test bring me developer engagement to web performance; image manager is table stakes. Media acceleration, end to end TLS and data visibility are good steps forward but still  a few quarters away. I would like to see the Media services enhancements being deployed as we speak as this is battle ground that is heating up.

Strike Outs-  Happy to report, there were none.



Ted Chamberlin
Research VP
18 years at Gartner
23 years IT Industry

Ted Chamberlin is a research Vice President at Gartner, where he is part of the Cloud and Communications group in TSP. His research focuses on the emerging cloud and hosting communications services like IaaS, PaaS, SaaS, colocation, application hosting, streaming and video content platforms, streaming and IoT and software-defined networking. Mr. Chamberlin has experience working with all size organizations from larger multinationals to early stage startups. Read Full Bio

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