Today is a big day for the Akamai Sandbox team and even bigger, we think, for Akamai customers. Our group of seven dedicated Akamai team members spent the last year speaking with our DevOps-savvy customers and listening to different pain points they have. After five months in beta, we’re happy to announce that we’re opening up Akamai Sandbox with general availability to customers* starting today.
During the beta period, we had 20+ leading enterprises set up their own private Akamai environments within their development pipelines. When we started the project we had a goal of ensuring that every customer should be able to make their own sandbox within less than a minute; today, we’re happy to report that Akamai Sandbox environments can be spun up in less than 40 seconds (in some cases, it’s less than 10 seconds!). Below is a breakdown of the latest provisioning times (95th percentile) that we saw in production from our beta customers. Also, note that cloning an existing sandbox took just 7 seconds. Wow.
In addition to seeing these fantastic spin-up times, another thing we were excited to learn was how customers were using sandboxes in their day-to-day activities. Below are the two most common patterns we observed.
Using a sandbox as a personal Akamai edge server: Customers were using their sandboxes to rapidly test new Akamai CDN logic in an isolated manner. They would build their new logic within Akamai’s Property Manager first, and then push the new JSON rule tree into these sandboxes to quickly test their new CDN logic.
Containerizing the sandboxes: Nearly all of our beta customers had containerized their development environments. In other words, they were making Akamai Sandbox part of their container setup and managing it using OpenShift or Kubernetes. That means when developers spin up a new environment to create new features, Akamai is already part of that framework.
Key improvements based on beta feedback
We made considerable improvements to the product based on excellent feedback during our beta period. Below are two important ones we would like to call out.
- Image Manager integration: If you have Akamai Image Manager enabled today, then all sandboxes you create starting today will be able to apply your staging Image Manager policies against Akamai Sandbox traffic. That means if you're working on a new hero image and it’s available only in your local environment, you can now for the very first time see how those images will look if you apply your Image Manager settings against it.
- Bypass cache: As with any developer environment, users needed the ability to toggle between accessing content from proxy cache and bypassing proxy cache completely. We added the ability to do that within the sandbox client that you run locally.
Ready to get started on creating your own sandbox now? Great, we have simple instructions for you.
Finally, we want to thank all of our beta participants for being very vocal about the problems they wanted to solve and what benefits they got out of their sandboxes. We want to continue to listen to your helpful and insightful feedback, and making constant improvements, so please bookmark this page for future updates.
*Customers must be using one or more of these Sandbox-compatible Akamai web products: Ion, Dynamic Site Accelerator, Rich Media Accelerator, Terra Alta, Web Application Accelerator, Aqua Ion Mobile, and Dynamic Site Delivery. Currently, no security product (including Kona Site Defender, Web Application Protector, Bot Manager, and API Gateway) policies can be applied against Akamai Sandbox traffic.