About Akamai

Akamai Technologies creates high-end solutions for companies interested in providing their users with better performance and security when they shop, browse websites, watch videos, or download music. Akamai allows companies to leverage the benefits of today’s internet led world without having to worry about the technological obstacles that arise from the demand for instant and fast connectivity and without having to compromise their or their users’ security. In today’s modern world, companies need to be able to provide their content and solutions on all platforms, including mobile and cloud. Akamai makes this possible.

History At a Glance

Akamai’s beginnings lie in a challenge posed by World Wide Web inventor Tim Berners-Lee at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in early 1995. The father of the web foresaw the congestion that was soon to become very familiar to Internet users, and he challenged colleagues at MIT to invent a fundamentally new and better way to deliver Internet content. What he may not have foreseen was that posing the problem in an academic setting would ultimately result in a commercial service that has revolutionized the Internet

MIT Professor of Applied Mathematics Tom Leighton, who had an office down the hall from Dr. Berners-Lee, was intrigued by the challenge. Dr. Leighton, a renowned expert on parallel algorithms and architecture was head of the Algorithms Group at MIT's Laboratory for Computer Science. Dr. Leighton recognized that a solution to web congestion could be found in applied mathematics and algorithms and he assembled a team of researchers to tackle the problem. 

After obtaining his undergraduate degrees in computer science and mathematics from the Technion, Danny Lewin came to MIT in the Fall of 1996 to work with Dr. Leighton. Shortly thereafter, Mr. Lewin began making rapid and important progress on a variety of techniques for improving Internet performance. Working with the team, Dr. Leighton and Mr. Lewin developed the mathematical algorithms necessary to intelligently route and replicate content over a large network of distributed servers, technology that would ultimately solve what was becoming a frustrating problem for Internet users. 

In 1997, Dr. Leighton and Mr. Lewin began exploring the possible commercial use of their technology. The company grew rapidly and delivered its first live traffic (a pixel buried deep in the Disney site) in February of 1999. In March, Akamai gained significant market exposure when it enabled the delivery of March Madness for ESPN and a Star Wars trailer for Entertainment Tonight, both of which experienced historic levels of user demand. Akamai launched commercial service in April 1999 and announced that one of the world's most-trafficked web properties, Yahoo!, was a charter customer.

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