NOSSDAV 2004 Keynote Speaker

Beyond Content Delivery: Applications to the Edge

Bill Weihl
CTO, Akamai


CDNs have evolved beyond caching and delivery of web objects and streams. With services such as Akamai's EdgeComputing Powered by Websphere, distributed computing on a world-wide grid is now a reality for a wide range of business applications, providing subsecond response time to all users wherever they are, unprecedented levels of fault-tolerance, and massive scalability on-demand. Application resources can be provisioned in seconds, responding in real-time to changes in load on a given application. In some cases, an application can be deployed completely on the global platform without any central infrastructure. In other cases, core database and business logic remain in the enterprise data center, while the presentation layer and some database and business logic functionality can move onto the global platform. We will describe the evolution of CDNs and the challenges faced in distributing customer applications.


Bill Weihl is currently Chief Technology Officer (CTO) of Akamai. He joined Akamai in 1999 and soon after was appointed Chief Architect for Akamai's Content Delivery Services. He was promoted to CTO in October, 2002. Prior to joining Akamai, Dr. Weihl was a Senior Consulting Engineer at Compaq's (formerly Digital's) Systems Research Center. He led the design and development of Digital's Continuous Profiling Infrastructure (DCPI). Prior to his work at DEC SRC, Dr. Weihl was a tenured associate professor of computer science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). He is recognized worldwide for his leadership in research on distributed and parallel computing, with notable results in transaction processing, parallel programming languages, distributed garbage collection, replication, and scheduling. He received his B.S., M.S, and Ph.D. degrees in Computer Science from MIT.