Interaction - Bruno Goveas, Director, Cloud Computing, Akamai

In an exclusive interaction with DQ Channels, Bruno Goveas, Director, Cloud Computing, Akamai shared insights on the recently launched initiative Gecko. How it is going to address various limitations, its comparison to hyperscalers, and more.

Bharti Trehan
Updated On
New Update
Interaction - Bruno Goveas, Director, Cloud Computing, Akamai

Bruno Goveas, Director, Cloud Computing, Akamai

What drove Akamai's decision to launch Gecko, and what is the vision behind this initiative? Could you elaborate on the roadmap outlined for its development?


Akamai is embedding cloud computing capabilities into our massive edge network. We’re doing that with a new initiative — codenamed Gecko (which stands for Generalized Edge Compute). Gecko is Akamai’s latest move in its multi-year strategy to become a key platform in enterprise multi-cloud environments.

It is another step in the company’s vision for a new kind of cloud designed to meet the needs of modern applications that require higher performance, lower latency, and true global scalability that current cloud architectures were not built to provide.

It builds on what Akamai has been doing, starting with the acquisition of Linode, launching Akamai Connected Cloud, and expanding its computing regions worldwide. With Gecko, Akamai is combining the strength of its cloud platform with the speed and efficiency of the edge, placing workloads closer to users than any other provider.


By bringing computing closer to customers, Akamai aims to make a significant impact and potentially gain a bigger share of the market. In February alone, Akamai was established in regions such as Bogotá, Colombia; Denver, Colorado; Houston, Texas; Hamburg, Germany; and Marseille, France, which are without a concentrated hyperscaler presence. Moreover, we will expand to 65 more locations by the end of this year. 

How does Gecko address the limitations of traditional, centralized cloud computing architectures, and what advantages does it offer in terms of proximity, performance, and scalability?

The cloud made it easy for developers and enterprises to rapidly build and deploy applications without the hassle of building the infrastructure. However, it wasn't fully solving the issues of low latency and enhancing customer experiences. These challenges now can be potentially tackled by a distributed cloud model, where the cloud services are not limited to one physical location or data center. Instead, Akamai’s infrastructure and its services are spread across numerous geographic locations, offering greater flexibility, scalability, and redundancy.


Traditional cloud providers typically offer support for VMs, or virtual machines and containers in a limited number of core data centers, Gecko expands this capability to Akamai’s extensive edge network, bringing full-stack computing power to hundreds of previously hard-to-reach locations. Reduced latency also plays a vital role in many workloads. Imagine shifting from 40 milliseconds to single-digit milliseconds for latency—this could be transformative for many customers.

Moreover, the current industry architectures treat cloud and edge networks separately. The market is dominated by hyperscalers who are following a decade-old centralized cloud model that prioritizes scale-up compute power at the expense of reach.

While smaller edge and CDN providers focus on scale-out reach by compromising on computing power, Gecko addresses this by moving heavier, traditional computing which used to be limited to centralized data centers to the edge of Akamai's network. 


By doing so it brings full-stack computing to previously numerous underserved locations allowing customers to move workloads closer to their users. It also eliminates unnecessary back and forth by allowing devices to make decisions on the spot without the need for constant communication. 

In today's modern applications and cloud environment, there are numerous use cases where it is beneficial for enterprises, customers, or developers to run and manage workloads at the edge, rather than in centralized data centers. This is primarily due to the cost-effectiveness of running these workloads at the edge compared to centralized data centers.

In comparison to hyperscalers, what advantages does Akamai's Gecko initiative offer for modern applications?


This combination of cloud and edge, combined with our deep experience in distributed networking, gives us an advantage as the industry faces increasing demand to deliver better price performance, lower latency, and more robust security for applications and data built and deployed across a wider continuum of compute. Even though the market is heavily dominated by hyper scalers, our focus on bringing compute closer to the customers will help us gain significant market share.

Moreover, even though hyper scalers will look at shifting their focus to the edge, Akamai will continue to hold a unique advantage due to the time-intensive nature of constructing a distributed infrastructure. Additionally, Akamai’s global presence, with 8 times more points of presence compared to competitors in the pureplay CDN space, further solidifies its advantages.

Could you discuss the key trends in cloud computing that Akamai is responding to with the launch of Gecko?


The upcoming evolution of the cloud will build and expand on the existing model. It is not about centralized versus edge clouds but about the transition to a more distributed cloud that will leverage the strengths of each to create new and innovative architectures.

With the surge of generative AI, companies worldwide and across diverse industries are exploring the utilization of large language models (LLMs) to their advantage. The demand for training compute, inferencing, and deploying these models has increased significantly. Distributed computing has also been reinvigorated by AI and there are huge opportunities for things like AI edge inferencing.

Akamai has been conducting early trials of Gecko with several of its enterprise customers. The company anticipates that customers in AI inferencing, multiplayer gaming, and social and streaming media are best positioned to take advantage of the power of Gecko. Akamai sees future use cases in areas such as immersive retail, spatial computing, data analytics, and consumer and industrial IoT.


Can you elaborate on the deployment strategy and how Akamai plans to expand its global cloud computing footprint? What regions are being prioritized, and what are the expected timelines for deployment?

Akamai is rolling out a fast-paced, but pragmatic, roadmap for Gecko. In its first phase, Akamai aims to embed compute with support for virtual machines into 100 cities by the end of the year. Already, in 2024, Akamai has deployed new Gecko-architected regions in Hong Kong SAR; Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; Querétaro, Mexico; and Johannesburg, South Africa, as well as in cities without a concentrated hyperscaler presence, including Bogotá, Colombia; Denver, Colorado; Houston, Texas; Hamburg, Germany; and Marseille, France. Beyond these 10 new Gecko locations and its existing 25 core computing regions, Akamai intends to add hundreds of cities to its global cloud computing footprint over the next several years.

In the second phase of Gecko, which is expected to kick off later this year, the company plans to add containers to the mix. In Gecko’s third phase, Akamai plans to add automated workload orchestration to make it easier for developers to build applications across hundreds of distributed locations, with the end goal of creating a consistent user experience between each core computing region and the edge.

Read More Interactions Here...

cloud-computing akamai Gecko