Akamai High Traffic Volume

Problem: Akamai is showing very high edge traffic volume, but other sources of accounting show less traffic, and Akamai is billing this high volume!

Discussion: I activated log shipping to compare the volume of the shipped data, to the reported volume by Akamai. The difference was +66% in the Akamai volume. Support was not help full. So I investigated deeper and found out, that the ratio for images was much lower and much higher for css/html/js files. So I checked compression.

Even though the origin servers can do compression, they did not use compression with Akamai. The reason for this was that IIS disables compression when it receives a “Via:” header, because there is some old HTTP spec that says “you should disable compression, when you get the request trough a proxy, because the proxy might not be capable of compression.”

You may say: I don’t care about uncompressed data from the origin because you have a 99% cache rate. I can handle 1% of traffic to be uncompressed.

But! When Akamai receives an object uncompressed, it counts and bills every download of this object in uncompressed size, even though all the requests to the client edge are compressed.

A small calculation: If you publish some css/js/html file with 5 MegaBytes, 1 million times per day, Akamai is charging you 5TeraBytes of traffic. But in reality they ship only about 625 GigaBytes to the users with an average of 1/8 compression for these kind of files !

This means you can reduce about 86% of your Akamai bill, for good compressible files.

Solution: Make sure that your origin servers always sends compressed data to Akamai by ignoring or removing the “Via:” header. And check this repeatedly because Akamai may add other headers that disable compression on the origin side.

Ref: Origin impact is explained here: https://community.akamai.com/customers/s/article/Beware-the-Via-header-and-its-bandwidth-impact-on-your-origin?language=en_US

Billing is explained here: https://community.akamai.com/customers/s/article/Reporting-of-compressed-content-on-Akamai-1386938153725

We will show and bill the uncompressed content size in the following circumstances:
– The origin (including NetStorage) sent the object uncompressed
– An edge server receives the object compressed from the origin, or a peer edge server, but had to uncompress it because of an internal process, including, but not limited to:
Edge Side Include (ESI)
– The client does not support compression (the request did not include an Accept-Encoding: gzip header)