Akamai Displaces Limelight at Rackspace

January 13th, 2011 by · 1 Comment

Content delivery giant Akamai (NASDAQ:AKAM, news, filings) took a public lump or two last month with the news that they lost some Netflix business to Level 3, but yesterday they showed a bit of their own aggression.  Akamai and Rackspace Hosting (NYSE:RAX, news, filings) announced a strategic relationship under which Rackspace’s dedicated and cloud hosting portfolio will leverage Akamai’s CDN.  Rackspace’s cloud services don’t get as much press as those of Amazon, but they do have traction.  Until now, Rackspace had been using Limelight’s services to serve its cloud hosting customers.

Telecom Ramblings itself is hosted via a Rackspace Cloud Server, and uses those CDN services to deliver images and banners.  Here is an excerpt of an email Rackspace sent to its customers (e.g. me) about the implications:

What is happening with Limelight?
The first major outcome from this new relationship will be the implementation of the Akamai’s CDN for our Cloud Files customers. We expect no customer impact during this transition from Limelight to Akamai. Once we flip the switch to have content served by Akamai, Akamai will begin supporting both new URLs and all existing Limelight URLs.

So Limelight definitely lost some business here.  But then they also added some Netflix business, which probably counts for more bits in 2011.  As to the timing, here is another excerpt:

When will we begin implementing Akamai?
Rackspace will be migrating customers in the first half of 2011. Rackspace will notify you once all of our customers have been migrated.

Hopefully the transition will be as smooth as they suggest, but if all my images suddenly vanish sometime in the next few months – now you know why! 

It all goes to show though that the CDN space is very fluid right now, and the major players are competing quite aggressively.

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