The genesis of Akamai Sandbox goes back two years, when we discovered that many Akamai customers were making changes to their configs more frequently than we expected. When we started talking to these customers, we discovered three main patterns:
- Multiple teams: An Akamai config is usually managed by multiple teams, where each team owns a part of the logic within the Akamai config. For the majority of our customers, that meant every time someone made a change to the config they have to wait for that individual to complete the change and deploy it to production before beginning to make subsequent changes.
- Multiple testing combinations: Typically, customers test multiple different combinations of rules and logic to get their desired outcome from an Akamai config prior to pushing the changes to production. This process delays the wait time for subsequent changes even further.
- Akamai Staging network: Finally, all these iterations were usually happening on the Akamai Staging network and it took five minutes or more to get these changes out every time. This further increased the wait time that our users were going through while testing new config changes.
After seeing these patterns, we undertook a customer-research exercise to better understand how we could help address these issues. After a few months of research, design, and prototyping, we learned that the best solution would be to offer every Akamai customer an isolated (i.e., “sandboxed”) Akamai environment where they can test different combinations of Akamai logic rapidly. And to sweeten the deal, we wanted our customers to have the ability to put these Akamai sandboxes in front of their development environments even if they're running locally.
So after a year of development, battling bugs and scaling concerns, we finally figured out how to fit the entire Akamai network into an isolated sandbox environment that spins up within minutes and works in front of a local development origin. Thus Akamai Sandbox was born.
And today, we’re proud to announce that the Akamai Sandbox beta program is now open.
Starting today, Akamai Sandbox is available to all our Beta Channel customers using Akamai web delivery products*. If you have the Beta Channel in your contract, you can directly visit our Sandbox User Guide to get started.
*Akamai web delivery products include Ion, Dynamic Site Accelerator, Rich Media Accelerator, Terra Alta, Web Application Accelerator, Aqua Ion Mobile, and Dynamic Site Delivery.
If you do not have access to the Beta Channel, you can enroll yourself by visiting Akamai Marketplace. Here's how to do it:
Note: if you are unable to view the Beta Channel within Akamai Marketplace, please reach out to your Akamai account team for access to the Sandbox beta.
Feedback, Feedback, Feedback
We love users who break our beta products, so if you run into any issues please do let us know by emailing them to firstname.lastname@example.org . And we also love it when customers provide us with new ideas to improve Akamai Sandbox, so go ahead and jot them down here in the Akamai Sandbox idea portal: https://bit.ly/sandbox-ideas.
We’re excited to open Akamai Sandbox to you, and we hope you get an opportunity to take it for a test drive. Of course, this is a beta product so it does have its limitations. For more information, visit the Akamai Sandbox home page.
Akhil Jayaprakash is a product manager at Akamai Technologies.