Akamai Acquires Linode – What I’m Excited About

CDN provider Akamai has announced that it has acquired Linode an IaaS cloud hosting provider for $900 million. I’ve been using Linode since 2014 and have grown to love their resilient offerings and loved their independent bootstrap origins so the news took me back a bit. However, I am also excited to see what Akamai can bring to the table. This blog post is for my thoughts (wishlist) on this acquisition.

I’m a self-confessed performance addict that’s obsessed with server performance and page speed performance and regularly check to see how my Centmin Mod users’ Core Web Vital metrics hold up and also heavily leverage Cloudflare CDN caching and Cloudflare Argo & Cloudflare Tunnels to squeeze the most out of page speed and server response times (TTFB). This very blog site is using Cloudflare CDN caching.

For a long time, I’ve always wanted to try out Akamai’s product offerings as I’ve tested and evaluated many CDN providers for my clients and my own usage – including Cloudflare, BunnyCDN, Sucuri, Incapsula, MaxCDN, SimpleCDN, CDN77, and KeyCDN to name a few. However, Akamai’s pricing isn’t very transparent and is hidden behind their free trial offers and contact us messages. So I am hoping Akamai’s acquisition of Linode will expose some of Akamai’s product offerings in more bite-size affordable pricing for Linode users.

I’d also like to see Linode expanding their data center locations on offer – leveraging Akamai global networking reach from their CDN.

Hardware wise, I’d like to see Linode finally do away with aging server CPUs in their VPS host node mix. They have some CPUs going as far back as Intel Xeon E5-26xx v2 IvyBridge days. Like DigitalOcean’s General/regular Compute droplets, for Linode, it’s a lucky dip as to which CPU models you land on when spinning up a Linode VPS server unlike other VPS providers which have a bit more certainty like Upcloud, Vultr and DigitalOcean Premium droplets & Hetzner goes one step further and clearly labels their Cloud VPS plans with either Intel or AMD guaranteed processors.

If Linode can split their plan offerings up, I’d like to see their AMD EPYC based plans have better per CPU core pricing than they have now. The sweet spot right now is US$10/CPU core for their US$40/month 4 CPU core VPS plan. However, the cost of additional CPU cores rises exponentially above that.

Linode has also been talking up their future support for bare metal dedicated server offerings. However, not much public announced progress has been made. I’m hoping with Akamai’s extensive resources, Linode bare metal dedicated servers come to market.

I’d also like to see Linode’s DDOS mitigation capabilities strengthened – leveraging Akamai’s security product offerings and DDOS attack mitigation capabilities. While I use Cloudflare’s protection in front of my servers, there’s always more peace of mind knowing that any attacks directly against my VPS server can potentially hold up better than in the past.

However, from the discussions going on around various social media and communities, there is are concerns that Linode is no longer independently owned and how that may impact their offerings and pricing.

Will also be interesting to see how Akamai handles Linode’s agreement with its CDN competitor, Cloudflare for their Cloudflare Bandwidth Alliance for reducing data transfer fees. Will we see other CDN providers also follow suit and attempt to acquire other Cloud hosting providers? If Cloudflare does the same, I’d like to see them look at Upcloud 🙂

We can only wait and see. But I am more excited than concerned right now. What are your thoughts? Centmin Mod users can discuss this on Centmin Mod community forums here.

You can also read Akamai’s own press release here and if you haven’t yet tried Linode, you can sign up with my referral link and get US$100 credit to test out Linode’s offerings.