Faster-Moving Clouds: Akamai and Riverbed Team Up

What happens when rebels unite? We'll found out in the first half of 2012 when Akamai Technologies (Nasdaq: AKAM  ) and Riverbed Technology (Nasdaq: RVBD  ) complete integration of their respective platforms for accelerating content delivery.

Yesterday at the Interop trade show in Las Vegas, the companies announced their intent to jointly develop technology for embedding Akamai's algorithmic magic in Riverbed's Steelhead appliances, and vice versa.

The press release didn't offer much in the way of details. But in an interview, two of the principal executives -- Eric Wolford at Riverbed and Willie Tejada at Akamai -- said the companies had been talking about working together for seven years. Engineering teams are now working on turning that talk into tech. Customers should see something during the first half of 2012.

"Willie and I found ourselves on a panel (in 2004). We didn't know each other, and although his world was focused on the Internet and mine was focused on the Intranet, we noticed a remarkable similarity in what we were talking about," Wolford said.

And there are similarities still. Both companies specialize in making data move faster; it's the approaches and markets that differ. Riverbed's deduplication technology strips away unnecessary information before sending data over a private network. Akamai positions data geographically close to users.

By combining efforts, Akamai and Riverbed hope to serve a growing number of companies extending their internal networks using cloud computing platforms from Amazon.com (Nasdaq: AMZN  ) , Verizon (NYSE: VZ  ) , and Akamai partner Rackspace Hosting (NYSE: RAX  ) . These so-called "hybrid clouds" could see a performance boost by adopting Riverbed and Akamai accelerants throughout, speeding data delivery from the first click. Or at least that's my hope as an investor.

We won't know anything for sure until the technical work is done. Until then, Akamai investors can take comfort in management knowing that it's value-added services like this one where its earnings bread is buttered, and Riverbed's investors can celebrate seeing the Steelhead technology gain continued traction.

Do you agree? Disagree? Tell us what you think about the partnership between these two Motley Fool Rule Breakers recommendations using the comments box below. You can also rate Akamai or Riverbed in Motley Fool CAPS.

The Motley Fool recently introduced a free My Watchlist feature that allows users to stay ahead of the curve and receive up to date news on companies like Akamai, Riverbed or any of their competitors. Add these companies to your watchlist today:

Akamai, Rackspace Hosting, and Riverbed Technology are Motley Fool Rule Breakers recommendations. Amazon.com is a Motley Fool Stock Advisor selection. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days.

Fool contributor Tim Beyers is a member of the Rule Breakers stock-picking team. He owned shares of Akamai at the time of publication. Check out Tim's portfolio holdings and Foolish writings, or connect with him on Twitter as @milehighfool. You can also get his insights delivered directly to your RSS reader. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool is also on Twitter as @TheMotleyFool. Its disclosure policy couldn't help but notice that you look great today. Well done.


Read/Post Comments (4) | Recommend This Article (1)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

  • Report this Comment On May 11, 2011, at 3:49 PM, bottomfisherman wrote:

    In for a penny in for a pound I guess. Your co-authors are bashing LVL3 why not join the fray when it is up over 8 percent today.

    "The press release didn't offer much in the way of details." So lets report on the facts and not speculate based upon a conversation that took place 7 years ago in 2004.

    Hello children today's word is alterier. Timmy can you use alterier in a sentence. The writers at MF have alterier motives when they continue to pump up Akami and try to make LVL3 look bad. Thank you Timmy that was very good.

  • Report this Comment On May 11, 2011, at 4:13 PM, troy2011 wrote:

    Today's word is spelled "ulterior" , it means to conceal or deceive.

  • Report this Comment On May 11, 2011, at 4:28 PM, IdahoAve wrote:

    I agree Tim - love it! I own both AKAM and RVBD and I work at a company whose network depends on both intranet and internet delivery, i'm think the union of these two beauties is exciting. I also think Bottomfisherman is a condescending douche. Do you agree? Disagree? Tell me what you in our comment session below.

  • Report this Comment On May 11, 2011, at 11:02 PM, sabastion444 wrote:

    There Doomed, It'll never work !

    Not to mention, Kieran Taylor didn't help matters.

    Can you say, Damage Control !

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