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November 11, 2020 By Mike Mackrory

How to Monitor Akamai Logs

Some of the largest and most prominent websites, worldwide, partner with Akamai to provide their customers with a premium web experience. What benefits could Akamai offer to you and your online product offerings? In this article, we will introduce you to Akamai and the services they provide.

We’ll talk about why those services are essential and how they can help you provide a better online experience for your customers. We’ll also talk about how Akamai can protect you from cyberattacks. Finally, we’ll talk about how to ensure you make the most of your relationship with Akamai by monitoring Akamai logs and identifying areas for change and improvement. Let’s get started.

What is Akamai?

Akamai manages and hosts a globally-distributed, edge-computing platform. Their global network allows them to connect to an end-consumer from a geographically close location, which reduces latency and increases responsiveness. Akamai customers can use this global network to improve the consumer experience, intelligently route and manage traffic, and protect themselves from cyber attacks.

Improving the Consumer Experience with Edge Computing and a Global CDN

One of the benefits of using Akamai is access to its content delivery network (CDN). If you run a website with images and videos, you know that this content dramatically affects download times. By uploading your content to Akamai and having it cached on servers around the world, consumers can access the content quicker, and at the same time reduce the load on your servers.

In addition to content, you can move processing to the edge in order to respond to your consumers’ requests faster. The Akamai network spans over 130 countries and includes almost a quarter-million servers. Wherever your customers find themselves, there’s likely to be a close-by Akamai endpoint.

Intelligent Routing and Management of Traffic

When it receives a request that requires routing to your server, Akamai uses its edge advantage to route requests through its backbone to your servers intelligently. It determines the fastest path and most responsive server for the traffic and routes the network packets accordingly. Suppose parts of your infrastructure aren’t reachable. In that case, Akamai will automatically failover to infrastructure that is, without needing to wait for timeouts and failover systems in your datacenters or the public cloud.

Protecting from Cyberattacks

Cloud-computing and an expanding Internet of Things (IoT) have made connectivity and scalability accessible to more companies than ever before. Unfortunately, it’s also easier for malicious actors to orchestrate Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) and similar attacks against sites and services. Partnering with an experienced edge provider like Akamai helps mitigate these attacks and gives you a trusted battle ally to ensure you prevail while minimizing downtime and vulnerability.

Monitoring Akamai - Why and How?

With a partner like Akamai, you might want to sit back and relax, letting Akamai control everything. While Akamai’s network and tooling are impressive, it is imperative that you actively monitor your organization’s interactions with Akamai to proactively respond to changes in how consumers use your applications. It would be best if you also were proactive in watching for potential problems within your infrastructure. Akamai provides access to logs and some basic dashboards that you can view when logging into your account. Included in this information are:

  • Transaction requests and response information; for example, error codes and success counts
  • Performance metrics, such as latency
  • Location when requests originate, and routing details
  • Security alerts relating to attacks and attempted exploits

While you can gain real-time visibility in the performance of your web application and consumer interactions, you can achieve added value and insights by partnering with a provider of analytics solutions related to Akamai. An experienced analytics partner can help garner actionable insights into your data, provide the data required to optimize your environment, and tune your Akamai configuration. A well-tuned environment will further improve your consumers’ experience.

Another valuable insight that we’ve touched on briefly is the ability to identify where your users originate. Akamai also informs you about how each of those customers is interacting with your application. This information lets you determine acceptable levels of service or SLAs for different parts of the global network, and adjust to strategies to target emerging markets and underserved areas.

Getting Started with Monitoring Akamai

Akamai customers have access to Cloud Monitor, which offers real-time monitoring and analytics for your applications. You can view and analyze data for mobile users, web users, and transactions passing through your APIs. A distinct advantage for public cloud users, especially those employing a multi-cloud strategy, is that the data in Cloud Monitor is origin agnostic, allowing you a holistic view of performance across your accounts.

Akamai also exposes this data through a secured API, allowing customers to automate access to and retrieve their Akamai metrics and logs. Users can build automatic monitoring processes around this data or connect with an experienced analytics partner for enhanced data correlation and analysis.

Optimizing Your Monitoring Strategy with Sumo Logic

If you’re looking for an experienced analytics partner, you need to look no further than Sumo Logic. With years of experience collecting, analyzing, and correlating data from various cloud sources, Sumo Logic is an industry leader in empowering you to glean actionable information and insights from your data.

Sumo Logic has developed an app specifically for ingesting and managing data from Akamai Cloud Monitor. Their pre-configured dashboards indicate your data and metrics’ origins, such as what technology your users use to access your application and what aspects of your application they have the most interactions with. The dashboard can also help identify trends and generate alerts when the metrics breach acceptable service boundaries.

The Sumo Logic Akamai App provides you with one unified view into your Akamai data, ensuring ease of use and taking your relationship with Akamai to the next level. Visit the product information page to learn more, or sign up for a free trial to experiment with the Akamai App yourself.

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Mike Mackrory

Mike Mackrory

Mike Mackrory is a Global citizen who has settled down in the Pacific Northwest — for now. By day he works as a Lead Engineer on a DevOps team, and by night, he writes and tinkers with other technology projects. When he's not tapping on the keys, he can be found hiking, fishing and exploring both the urban and rural landscape with his kids. Always happy to help out another developer, he has a definite preference for helping those who bring gifts of gourmet donuts, craft beer and/or single-malt Scotch.

More posts by Mike Mackrory.

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