Akamai goes P2P, buys Red Swoosh

22 Comments

Updated: Akamai has just announced that it is buying Red Swoosh, a peer-to-peer based service for about $15 18.7 million in stock. That’s not that much for a start-up that counts some heavy weights as its customers.

The rumors of this deal had been floating around for about two months and Travis Kalanick of Red Swoosh has been avoiding us for a while now, ever since we asked him about the deal. Anyway the deal should make Akamai naysayers pause a little. Many had said that P2P caching could dislodge Akamai from its current dominant position. Fat chance – Akamai, it is clear, is more fierce in protecting its turf than say Microsoft. It just uses its hefty stock market capitalization to buy out possible competitors.

I would post a longer post later today once I get through the email-hell!

22 Comments

Sanny

What features will make p2p content delivery, especially streaming media such as video, main stream?

Some thoughts that I have pondered over. In my oppinion for a p2p system to become widely accepted and used it has to show some specific characteristics. Below are some end-user centric thoughts.

-End-users have to get used to and comfortable with the idea of sharing bandwidth.

-They have be certain that the p2p software do not compromise their security nor integrity. Doing like some solutions which installs a software and automatically configures it to run 24/7 on the client computer sharing media is simply not the way to get trust. I belive that by default users should not have to share more that the material they download and at the instance when they download it.

-Simple installation! This is a key feature, if the installation process is complicated people will not use it. It’s as simple as that. 3-4 clicks should be the maximum.

-OS agnostic. The p2p system should work on all major platforms and on all major media players. Wether the end-user uses Linux, Mac or Windows it should work seamless.

-Browser agnostic. The plugins for the p2p system should work for all major browsers; IE, firefox, safari, opera, it should make any difference.

-The p2p system should work with all major media players such as; windows media player, quicktime, flash and real player.

-It should be based on open standards, no walled gardens making it impossible for users (not end-users) to change system.

-…

What do you guys think?

Ashwin

The deal defintely is strategic and signifies two things

1) P2P will play a significant role in CDNs to lower the costs for delivery high quality videos and streaming live events.

2) The $15 Million price tag also says that P2P CDNs will not be mainstream anytime sooner, and hence low revenues for the next 2-3 years.

Sebastien BORGET

This news tends to prove that even giants like Akamai with strong CDN networks cannot compete against p2p delivery networks. So if you cannot beat them, join (buy…) them !

To another extent, this news is very good and confirm the efforts from my company to evangelize P2P and provide P2P Content Delivery solutions: peer-to-peer is now seriously considered as the main architecture when companies develop their online video distribution portal, while client-servers architecture are deprecated.

And of course it is not limited to video contents: you can use p2p content delivery networks for music, pictures, work documents, zip archives, programs …

Sebastien
http://www.1-click.com

LL

Congrats Travis. These guys have been at it for a long time. Good work should always be rewarded.

Yaron

Congrats Travis and Team!!!

This is yet another validation that P2P and high quality downloads have become a must-have component of any commercial online video initiative.

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