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Automatically Clear Your Cache

January 9, 2020 · by Dale Lenard ·
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Start your DevOps Journey with Caching

As of November 2019 there were 3.5 billion purge API requests from more than 3,500 unique customers.  Are you one of them? 

Akamai now offers users so many cool new DevOps features. But it can be hard to know where to start and what to introduce into your organization first. 

In this article I’ll walk through how caching, a core CDN function can be the best place to start. To begin, caching has a huge return on investment (ROI), partially because the effort it takes to implement it is really low. No matter your role, one of the most challenging and frequent tasks is to clear a cache - and often there are complications associated with clearing your cache. In my experience, I’ve seen a bunch of different reasons for this, like:

  • Multiple teams are managing content workflows
  • There are a limited number of individuals with the ability to interact with Akamai
  • Your team uses complex Content Management Systems (CMS)
  • Large scale content updates are being pushed frequently
  • Strict rules prevent teams from clearing content because of the performance impact 

How does this fit into DevOps? 

One of the fundamental characteristics of an effective DevOps workflow is automation. Enabling teams to automate common tasks allows each individual to focus on more important tasks, and ultimately their customer. 

caching flow chart

Clearing your cache with Akamai can be done via the control center or with the Akamai CLI. While this can be simple enough for technical teams, it consumes a lot of time that could be used for more in-depth and higher-priority tasks. For this reason, content administrators are often tasked with clearing the cache. However, they may not have access to the control center, have permission restrictions, or they might not be familiar enough with the CLI to perform the task that way. 

Considering these common issues, the best solution is to automate the task altogether - saving developers and admins time and effort. 

Sounds good doesn’t it? Automation appeals to nearly all organizations that have not yet used Akamai APIs to create DevOps workflows. Setting up an automated system for clearing your cache not only removes complexity around clearing the cache, but also frees up developers and ops teams to focus on more important features.

How do you get started?

If you are an Akamai customer, you can get started with the following guides:

It’s not just us talking about this either - major CMS platforms recognize the benefits and have created guides on how to integrate with Akamai: 

If you’re interested in getting your organization on board, here are some points to bring up:

  1. Increase Developer/Ops Bandwidth
    Hit the pain points! Integrate into workflow, provide developers/ops teams more bandwidth to focus on features for their customers, derisk content flushing by removing the manual configuration from the equation.
  2. Getting Started is Easy
    Discuss the ease of getting started by demoing one of the connectors or integrators, or review one of the reference materials. If you get stuck, Akamai can provide a workshop to build on your team's knowledge around our APIs.
  3. Reduce Costs
    Ensure you articulate the cost savings that you can accrue as you can automatically clear only the content that needs to be cleared. This means that you will be making fewer calls to origin and can easily maintain your offload without spending developer or admin resources in addition.