In today’s always-on business environment, a world-class digital experience is the best way to delight your customers, sharpen your competitive edge, and boost revenue. But the job of turning ideas into reality is complex and leaves little room for error. As the world’s largest and most trusted cloud delivery platform, delivering 95 exabytes of data a year across billions of devices, Akamai makes it easier for you to provide the best and most secure digital experiences on any device, anytime, anywhere.
With the broadest array of best-in-class cloud delivery products and services, including superior web and mobile performance, cloud security, enterprise access, and video delivery solutions – all underpinned by exceptional customer service and 24/7 monitoring – you can count on our people and technology to support you every step of the way.
Genesis of Akamai
Akamai’s beginnings lie in a challenge posed by World Wide Web inventor Tim Berners-Lee at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in early 1995. MIT Professor of Applied Mathematics Tom Leighton, who had an office down the hall from Dr. Berners-Lee, was intrigued by the challenge. After obtaining his undergraduate degrees in computer science and mathematics from the Technion, Danny Lewin came to MIT in the fall of 1996 to work with Dr. Leighton. Shortly thereafter, Mr. Lewin began making rapid and important progress on a variety of techniques for improving Internet performance. Working with the team, Dr. Leighton and Mr. Lewin developed the mathematical algorithms necessary to intelligently route and replicate content over a large network of distributed servers, technology that would ultimately solve what was becoming a frustrating problem for Internet users.
Building a Business
In 1997, Dr. Leighton and Mr. Lewin began exploring the possible commercial use of their technology. Together with Preetish Nijhawan (a student at MIT’s Sloan school) they entered the esteemed annual MIT $50K Entrepreneurship Competition in September of that year. Over the course of the 9-month competition, the $50K team grew substantially and their business plan was selected as one of six finalists among 100 entries. The distinction signaled that Internet content delivery had serious market potential and on August 20, 1998, Dr. Leighton and Mr. Lewin incorporated Akamai, with Jonathan Seelig (a student at the Sloan school) and Randall Kaplan joining the founding team. Akamai obtained an exclusive license to certain intellectual property from MIT, and development efforts began in the fall of 1998. Most of the company’s early employees were students who had worked on the project at MIT.
In late 1998 and early 1999, experienced Internet business professionals joined the team. Most notably, Paul Sagan, who was a former President of Time Inc. New Media, a founder of Road Runner cable modem service and who helped launch NY 1 News, became chief operating officer and eventually president of Akamai (later serving as CEO from 2005 – 2013). George Conrades, former chairman and chief executive officer of BBN Corp. and senior vice president of U.S. Operations for IBM, assumed the helm as Akamai’s first chairman and chief executive officer in April 1999.
Launching Commercial Service
The company grew rapidly and delivered its first live traffic (a pixel buried deep in the Disney site) in February of 1999. In March, Akamai gained significant market exposure when it enabled the delivery of March Madness for ESPN and a Star Wars trailer for Entertainment Tonight, both of which experienced historic levels of user demand. Akamai launched commercial service in April 1999 and announced that one of the world’s most-trafficked web properties, Yahoo!, was a charter customer.
Standing Tall Among Competitors
When it comes to digital experiences, security is non-negotiable. As the largest distributed platform operating at the edge of the Internet, Akamai provides a defensive shield built to protect your websites, mobile infrastructure, and API-driven requests. Via 24/7 monitoring, we collect and analyze terabytes of attack data, billions of bot requests, and hundreds of millions of IP addresses to solidify your defenses and keep you informed. And we never stop innovating to stay ahead of the latest threats including malware, phishing, data exfiltration, DDOS, and other advanced attacks.
Everywhere and All the Time
With the unparalleled scale and resiliency of more than 200,000 servers in over 130 countries, you get uninterrupted customer experiences, intelligence to optimize devices, and capacity to move huge volumes of data and content – whether broadcasting to the largest audiences or personalizing for each individual user. Even when the stakes are highest – when you’ve got one chance to get it right, when the whole world is watching – the size and reliability of the Akamai cloud delivery platform means we’ll deliver your critical content with consistency, quality, and security across every device, every time.
Service That Never Sleeps
We may live in a digital world, but people still matter. And you need the best on your side. We have 19 years of experience and a team of more than 1,600 experts supporting you with strategic expertise, comprehensive outsourcing, proactive monitoring and responsive troubleshooting. Whether it’s the middle of the afternoon or the middle of the night; our team thrives on helping bring your digital experiences to life, 24/7, every day of the year.
Dr. Tom Leighton, CEO: Under Dr. Leighton’s leadership, Akamai has evolved from its origins as a Content Delivery Network (CDN) into one of the most essential and trusted cloud delivery and cybersecurity platforms, upon which many of the world’s best brands and enterprises build and secure their digital experiences. During his initial four years as CEO, Akamai’s revenue and profit grew by 70%, and annual revenue from Akamai’s security business grew 15-fold to more than $400 million per year. Dr. Leighton graduated summa cum laude from Princeton University with a B.S.E. in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. He received his Ph.D. in Applied Mathematics from MIT.