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ComputerWire: IT Industry Intelligence

Akamai Technologies Inc yesterday confirmed suspicions that it will use IBM Corp software to deliver Java-based web services applications from its massive network of edge-of-internet servers. The content delivery service provider will deploy WebSphere, in a phased rollout, initially over perhaps a few hundred of its 13,000 servers.

WebSphere, IBM's J2EE-based application server, will run on the same boxes as Akamai's own caching and routing software, and the companies will work on the connections between the two technologies between now and the fourth quarter, when services are expected to go live.

The deal follows Akamai's announcement last month that it will deploy Windows servers on its network, to be able to run web services applications written in the Microsoft Corp model. The Microsoft deployments will be of separate dedicated boxes.

The rollouts are the third stage of Akamai's strategy to extend its services. First, it cached and delivered static web content from the edge of the internet, taking the bandwidth and processing strain off origin sites, then it delivered dynamically-generated content, with its flagship EdgeSuite system.

Now it wants customers to deploy components of their web services, such as Java servlets, JSP pages and Java Beans over its network. The value proposition is a faster end-user experience and reduced infrastructure requirements at the origin site, though customers will have to weigh that cost benefit against the price of Akamai's services.

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