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SAP’s Enterprise Services Community Networking Lab Report validates Akamai’s solution for transforming the Internet into business-ready Application Delivery Platform

October 17, 2007 - Akamai Technologies, Inc. (NASDAQ: AKAM), the leading global service provider for accelerating content and applications online, today announced the results of tests conducted within SAP’s Enterprise Services Community Networking Lab (ENL). The report validates that Akamai’s Web Application Accelerator service delivers significant gains and consistent performance for users of the SAP NetWeaver® platform and SAP® applications based on an enterprise service-oriented architecture (enterprise SOA). Tests revealed 10 - 24X performance gains under conditions of high packet loss and consistent 2-5X performance gains under normal Internet conditions. By leveraging the Akamai Web Application Accelerator service, IT departments can ensure fast and reliable network performance for SAP applications delivered over the Internet to users located anywhere in the world, even when served from a single, centralised data center.

Akamai was the only member of SAP’s Enterprise Services Community (ES Community) that opted to test its Web Application Accelerator solution outside of the WAN-simulated lab and over real-world Internet conditions. Akamai delivered these gains by overcoming Internet conditions that included cases of greater than 400 millisecond latencies and packet loss reaching nearly 90 percent.

Based on the tests in the production-grade SAP ENL environment, the report concludes the Akamai solution:

• Accelerates multi-step, highly dynamic business process transactions by 25 - 75 percent, reducing response times in some cases from 10 seconds to six seconds.
• Improves user experience of those using the SAP NetWeaver Portal from 25 - 100 percent, cutting response times in some cases from 32 seconds to less than 16 seconds.
• Provides 2- 24X improvement in file download performance, shrinking response times in one example from 58 seconds to less than three seconds under conditions of high packet loss.
• Delivers up to a 15X improvement in consistency, as measured by standard deviation improvement.

“The Internet cannot provide the guaranteed performance, scale, control and visibility required by solutions such as SAP NetWeaver and enterprise SOA-based business applications,” said Willie Tejada, vice president, Akamai Application Performance Solutions Product Management. “This prevents the Internet from being a cost-effective and highly agile network to reach global users. The ENL test results validate that Akamai enables enterprises to effectively use the Internet to run SAP business applications in support of mission-critical business processes that are accessed through applications such as customer portals, supply chain management, product lifecycle, collaboration platforms and business-to-business commerce.”

A member of SAP’s ES Community from its inception in April 2006, Akamai has teamed with SAP to develop best practices for deploying SAP applications over the Internet. The Internet is playing an increasingly mission-critical role in today’s extended enterprise environment as a highly cost-effective and agile network platform for linking partners and customers across corporate boundaries using enterprise SOA-based business processes.

To determine the performance and availability of the base environment of SAP NetWeaver and enterprise SOA-based applications delivered over the Internet and without any acceleration solution, SAP’s ENL tests measured the real-world, end-user experience in established business regions in North America, Europe and Asia-Pacific, as well as for emerging markets like China.

The results revealed that the public Internet is highly unpredictable and delivers extremely variable latencies with high levels of packet loss – conditions that lower user adoption rates and ongoing business process transaction success. The report reveals the following:

• In some major cities, average round-trip Internet latencies exceeded 400ms and were extremely variable with maximum latencies reaching up to 60X of average.
• Maximum packet loss ranged from 3 percent in the United States to 89 percent in China. Even well-connected regions like London, United Kingdom, periodically experienced severe packet loss during standard business hours.

Subsequent tests indicated that SAP NetWeaver and enterprise SOA-based applications leveraging Akamai’s Web Application Accelerator service benefited from dramatic performance improvement and a consistent user experience by addressing Internet bottlenecks independent of the application. The result of these improvements is expected to be higher user adoption rates and increased productivity without data center build out or changes to the SAP application.

“IT business requirements for consistent, fast application performance over the Internet must be achieved for enterprises to obtain increased business flexibility through high user adoption of mission-critical applications,” said George Hamilton, director of Enterprise Infrastructure for Yankee Group. “Best practices combined with the delivery of technology services for optimised application performance must be in place to support enterprise revenue growth.”

“Optimal network performance for deployments of SAP applications is instrumental in realizing the business value provided by the flexibility and ability of enterprise SOA landscapes to rapidly enable new business processes,” said Joerg Nalik, Ph.D., director, Partner Solution Management, SAP Labs. “As enterprises increasingly leverage the Internet’s agility and cost-effectiveness as a network platform to reach users globally, the enterprise must consider the Internet’s performance as well. SAP’s ENL testing of Akamai’s Web Application Accelerator solution proved that it delivers significant Internet performance improvements by optimizing the Internet without requiring any changes to the application or infrastructure build out.”

Akamai’s Web Application Accelerator service leverages Akamai's globally-deployed platform – comprising approximately 25,000 servers in 70 countries – to deliver consistent, improved application performance for enterprise customers. Akamai accelerates customers’ dynamic Web applications using a number of unique techniques including dynamic mapping, route optimisation and connection optimisation technology. The result is increased user adoption of applications for greater productivity and decreased support costs.

Testing was conducted by SAP’s ES Community.The ES Community created the ENL, a controlled lab environment for the testing of networking products and services in a production-grade, enterprise SOA environment. The ENL is based on the SAP Discovery Server, a collection of business scenarios in the form of composite applications.

To read SAP’s ENL test report, please visit: http://www.akamai.com/sap_whitepaper.

About Akamai
Akamai is the leading global service provider for accelerating content and applications online. Thousands of organisations have formed trusted relationships with Akamai, improving their revenue and reducing costs by maximizing the performance of their online businesses. Leveraging the Akamai EdgePlatform, these organisations gain business advantage today, and have the foundation for the emerging Internet solutions of tomorrow. Akamai is "The Trusted Choice for Online Business." For more information, visit www.akamai.com.

Press Contacts:
James Cooper/Gillie Tennant
Ascendant Communications
Email: jcooper@ascendcomms.net/gtennant@ascendcomms.net

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