Content Delivery M&A: Akamai Acquires FastSoft

FastSoft, based in Pasadena, Calif., was founded in 2006 to commercialize a network optimization technology called FastTCP that was developed at the California Institute of Technology. Its FastTCP algorithms improve TCP for increasing the speed of page views and file transfer while also preventing packet loss and network latency. A server-side technology, it's installed in the data center, requires no client software and can accelerate all TCP connections in a private cloud, including both cacheable and non-cacheable elements, according to FastSoft.

The company has a modest channel, and solution providers often employ it for customers requiring specific network optimization for faster Internet or file downloads. Bill Wheaton, Akamai's senior vice president and general manager, Media Division, said FastSoft would provide a "strong complement" to Akamai.

"Their development team possesses extensive experience in advanced TCP technology that we believe can enhance the delivery of rich media, as well as support future initiatives in the areas of mobile applications and cloud performance," Wheaton said in a statement.

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FastSoft's team will join Akamai's engineering group and its Pasadena office will become an Akamai Center of Excellence focused on network protocols and optimization technology.

The move represents the latest instance of consolidation in the overall WAN optimization and acceleration segment, in which Akamai also partners with market-share leader Riverbed Technology to tackle distance and access problems for cloud and SaaS applications.

Akamai's most recent acquisition before FastSoft was cloud and mobile acceleration services company Cotendo, announced in December 2011 and closed in March. In February, the company also bought Blaze Software and its technology for optimizing Web page rendering.

Akamai also has made a number of executive changes of late, including the July appointment of former Novell security business chief Jim Ebzery as senior vice president and general manager, Americas, and the announcement that Paul Sagan, president and CEO, will be transitioning out of his role by the end of 2013.