See the Dirty Little Secret for Yourself

The Associated Press had this article about a new, free service offered by the content delivery network provider, Akamai.

As you can see from the screengrab, I took a peek at the closest hub to me in Minneapolis (the Chicago one) and the end point in Sydney, Australia since I’m working with this guy on delivering live streaming video content from there to here.

In the article was this quote, “We originally built this feature as a tool for our customers, but once it was built it seemed like a fun thing to put out there to the public,” said Tom Leighton, Akamai’s chief scientist.” A fun thing? I don’t think so. More like, “We are delivering this to graphically demonstrate the latency on the Internet and the incredible performance boost we can provide you with the Akamai service.” I’m enamored with what Akamai is delivering and particularly intrigued with their announcement of a Flash streaming service combined with their other media offerings (more here).

Performance with video streaming, webinars, application performance, content delivery and anything else that travels over the Internet is becoming increasingly dependent upon how much latency (i.e., the time it takes for packets to travel over the Internet and be re-assembled at their destination) is introduced. Of course, it isn’t just the latency from one hub to another…it’s also from that hub to its ultimate destination (including from the Internet Service Provider you have to your desktop).

Composite applications or “mashups” of discrete chunks of functionality (think widgets and gadgets) assembled together to deliver an end application is a real problem if there isn’t any thought to how much time it will take for all that data to be grabbed and a Web page to be built.

I know I’m a broken record on the topic of the “dirty little secret” — that Internetwork latency is already affecting mashups, Web/Enterprise 2.0 applications, video delivery and essentially everything we do over the Internet — but dealing with this latency is something that should be baked into every Internet companies business plan as well as your business case if you’re delivering anything over the ‘net and/or relying on applications and data up there in that Internet cloud.

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About Steve Borsch

Strategist. Learner. Idea Guy. Salesman. Connector of Dots. Friend. Husband & Dad. CEO. Janitor. More here.

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Podcasting hit the mainstream in July of 2005 when Apple added podcast show support within iTunes. I'd seen this coming so started podcasting in May of 2005 and kept going until August of 2007. Unfortunately was never 'discovered' by national broadcasters, but made a delightfully large number of connections with people all over the world because of these shows. Click here to view the archive of my podcast posts.