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Globally distributed content delivery

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journal contribution
posted on 01.10.1998 by John Dilley, Bruce M Maggs, Jay Parikh, Harald Prokop, Ramesh Sitaraman, Bill Weihl
When we launched the Akamai system in early 1999, it initially delivered only Web objects (images and documents). It has since evolved to distribute dynamically generated pages and even applications to the network's edge, providing customers with on-demand bandwidth and computing capacity. This reduces content providers' infrastructure requirements, and lets them deploy or expand services more quickly and easily. Our current system has more than 12,000 servers in over 1,000 networks. Operating servers in many locations poses many technical challenges, including how to direct user requests to appropriate servers, how to handle failures, how to monitor and control the servers, and how to update software across the system. We describe our system and how we've managed these challenges.