Global Traffic Management overview

Akamai's Global Traffic Management is a dynamic DNS system designed to ensure high availability and responsiveness to user requests. Unlike traditional hardware-based solutions that reside within the data center, Global Traffic Management is a distributed, fault-tolerant system that makes intelligent routing decisions based on real-time data center performance and global Internet conditions. It manages traffic to your data centers by choosing the best answers, from moment to moment, to return to client name servers in response to their queries about Global Traffic Management domains.

The Internet domain name system (DNS) is a distributed system that lets computer programs issue queries about domain names, to which the DNS returns one or more answers. The most common use of the DNS is to convert hostnames, such as www.customer.com, into IP addresses, which identify a particular computer at a particular place in the Internet.

In the most traditional use of the DNS, the answers returned for a query are static: they are manually entered into a configuration file and change only when someone changes the file.

A dynamic DNS system returns answers that are computed on the fly, and can vary from query to query. A typical use is to return the IP address of a server that is dynamically assigned through the Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP), and can change from time to time, as is common with most home Internet connections.