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商业 - 科技

2013年的互联网:更大,更快,更危险

Dan Mitchell 2013年04月27日

互联网的带宽越来越大,网速越来越快,越来越多的人得以在互联网上下载软件、看视频、玩在线游戏。与此同时,网络袭击也越来越复杂,破坏性越来越强。

    互联网的带宽越来越大,网速越来越快,越来越多的人得以在互联网上下载软件、看视频、玩在线游戏。与此同时,网络袭击也越来越复杂,破坏性越来越强。

    据阿卡迈公司(Akamai)本周发布的年度《互联网现状》报告显示,2012年美国的宽带网速猛增了28%。这种趋势也侧面解释了上周三阿卡迈公司发布的第一季度财报为何如此抢眼。

    阿卡迈公司的主要业务是为新闻集团(News Corp.)、Facebook、苹果(Apple)、任天堂(Nintendo)、Netflix等公司管理、交付网络内容。这些公司需要的网络内容越多,阿卡迈公司的业绩就越好。随着宽带网速的增长,在网络上在线看视频、玩游戏、下载软件的人也越来越多。阿卡迈公司在一次与分析师的电话会议上表示,所有这些业务都提高了它的盈利水平。

    除去一次性项目后,阿卡迈公司的净利润从2012年第一季度的每股36美分猛增到今年第一季度的每股51美分,收入也增长了15%,达到3.68亿美元,均超过了分析师预测的47美分的利润和3.581亿美元的营收。利润猛增的同时,它的成本仅上涨了8%。与此同时,这家公司还预计第二季度也将呈健康增长态势。截至本周四中午,它的股价已经飙升了20%,达到每股43.45美元。

    阿卡迈公司第一季度的出色业绩足以抵消某些媒体关于“分手”报道的负面影响——尤其是一家大型视频服务提供商据说以后将不再与阿卡迈合作,据信这很有可能就是Netflix。Netflix正在建立自己的网络,将把大部分流量管理工作从阿卡迈和其它网络服务商那里抽出来,交给自家网络运营。对阿卡迈来说,Netflix的抽离预计在下个季度末就会完成。

    去年六月,Netflix宣布将自行建立一个叫Open Connect的网络。当时,阿卡迈的股价就曾经受到了一定打击。不过投资者们很快意识到,虽然Netflix是阿卡迈的一个大客户,但是从长期看来,此举实际上对阿卡迈公司是一件好事。因为由于Netflix强大的议价能力,来自这家公司的利润其实很微薄。随着Netflix继续抽离它的业务,阿卡迈可以省下更多的网络带宽,以更高的价格卖给小客户。而且,Netflix其实只是个个案,因为即便是大企业,也很少愿意在自己的网络上、自己进行流量管理的。这笔帐对于Netflix还说得通,但是至少在可见的将来内,除了少数直接向用户交付内容的公司之外,其它各行各业的公司都不见得会这样做。谷歌(Google)旗下的视频网站YouTube则是另一家自己管理内容交付网络的公司。

    除了平均网速的跃升外,今年的《互联网现状》报告还注意到,最近的网络袭击事件大幅增多,同时这些网络袭击的复杂程度也提高了。但这也给阿卡迈公司带来了好处。阿卡迈公司表示,它的“性能和安全性解决方案”贡献的营收入比去年同期上涨了17%,达到1.57亿美元。公司CEO汤姆森•雷顿在这次与分析师的电话会议中说道:

    “过去几个月发生的事情充分体现出,任何在网络上做生意的企业都要为安全问题费尽苦心。网络袭击的规模变得更大了,同时变得更频繁、更多样、更复杂,而且它们是在全球范围内发动的。比如在一次代号为‘燕子行动’的网络袭击里,我们在保护美国银行客户的过程中发现,发动袭击的服务器的位置分散在100多个国家。这些高度分散的袭击说明,为什么企业需要重新思考网络安全性问题,同时也说明,为什么我们相信,客户需要我们的分散式平台提供的独特优势。”(财富中文网)

    译者:朴成奎

    Broadband speed in the United States jumped by 28% in 2012, according to Akamai's (AKAM) annual "State of the Internet" report issued this week. That trend helps explain why Akamai's first-quarter results, released late Wednesday, look so good.

    Akamai manages and delivers Internet content for clients like News Corp. (NWSA), Facebook (FB), Apple (AAPL), Nintendo (NTDOY), and Netflix (NFLX). The more content is demanded, the better Akamai does. As broadband speeds increase, more people watch video online, play games, and download software. The company said during its conference call with analyststhat all of those businesses added to its bottom line.

    Akamai's net profit, excluding one-time items, jumped to 51 cents per share, up from 36 cents in the first quarter of 2012. Revenues rose by 15%, to $368 million. Analysts had expected profits of 47 cents per share and revenues of $358.1 million. Margins improved greatly, with costs growing by just 8%. Meanwhile, the company forecast a healthy second quarter as well. As of midday Thursday, the company's stock had soared by more than 20%, to $43.45.

    The results were good enough to more than offset the "winding down" of some media accounts -- in particular a large video provider that is widely believed to be Netflix. That company is building out its own network and transferring more of its traffic management to it and away from Akamai and other providers. For Akamai, the wind-down is expected to be complete by the end of next quarter.

    When Netflix last June announced the creation of its own network, called Open Connect, Akamai's stock took a hit. But investors realized soon enough that even though Netflix was a huge customer, the move would actually be good for Akamai in the long run. Margins from Netflix are tiny because of the video giant's negotiating power. As the wind-down continues, Akamai will have more bandwidth available to sell to smaller customers at higher prices. Netflix is a special case: Few companies, even big ones, want to manage their own traffic on their own networks. It makes economic sense for Netflix but (at least for the foreseeable future) not for companies that are in businesses other than just delivering content to end users. Google's YouTube (GOOG) is another company that manages its own content delivery network.

    Besides the jump in average broadband speeds, the "State of the Internet" report noted the recent jump in cyberattacks, as well as the increasing sophistication of such attacks. The company benefits from this, too. Akamai reported that revenue from its "performance and security solutions" was up by 17% over the year-earlier period, to $157 million.

    During the conference call, CEO F. Thomson Leighton said:

    "It has become abundantly clear over the past several months that any company doing business online needs to be diligent about security. Online attacks are becoming larger in size, more frequent, more varied and sophisticated, and they are being launched on a global scale. For example, the attacks we witnessed while defending our U.S. banking customers during Operation Ababil came from servers located in more than 100 countries. These highly distributed attacks demonstrate why companies need to think about web security differently and also why we believe that they need the distinct advantage provided by our distributed platform."

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