Royal Caribbean




Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd.



Organization Size

60,000 employees



How Akamai Sandbox Created Smooth Sailing for Royal Caribbean's CDN Team

The Challenge

Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. (RCCL) is the world’s largest global cruise line, delivering innovation at sea for more than 50 years. This innovation certainly extends to RCCL’s content delivery network (CDN) team, who aim to use every tool at their disposal to keep RCCL’s digital properties at peak performance and security, 24/7/365. Recently, an anomalous pattern was identified in one of RCCL's public websites, impacting a considerable number of users. The errors, according to RCCL IT Architect Paulo Gouveia, were due to a specific "misbehaving" cookie. The CDN team immediately jumped into action to diagnose and resolve the issue.

“The ability to see our delivery config changes within seconds allowed for momentum never experienced before within our teams. We love the Sandbox!”— Paulo Gouveia, RCCL IT Architect

The Solution

The team had been experimenting with the recently released Akamai Sandbox, an isolated Akamai environment (i.e., a sandbox) that developers can use for testing development versions of property configurations before deploying to the CDN. Sandbox seemed like it might be the right solution here. “Having Akamai Sandbox as part of our toolset enabled us to successfully deliver—within two hours—a hotfix from user acceptance testing to production,” said Gouveia. “Those two hours included sandbox creation, proof-of-concept development, sandbox updates, UAT sign-off, and production migration.”

The Results

The speed of the Akamai Sandbox solution was key, according to Gouveia. “The ability to see our delivery config changes within seconds allowed for momentum never experienced before within our teams,” he said. “There is collateral energy and focus that gets lost when a team needs to wait two to five minutes for changes to propagate on the staging network, or even 15 minutes to the production network.”

The results were also staggering: an immediate and massive drop in errors immediately after the Sandbox fix (see chart below).

sandbox results
Chart showing user sessions with lowercase cookie values. Note the drop immediately after the fix.

The RCCL CDN team feels that Akamai Sandbox takes Akamai integration to a whole new level, and they are now considering more Sandbox use cases within CI/CD and DevOps, along with other hotfixes and local origin access projects. In short, says Gouveia, “We love the Sandbox!”

For additional information, check out Akamai Sandbox and Akamai for DevOps.