Building Akamai's First Open-Source Product: A Software Innovation Used by Millions

  • 01
    Project Overview
  • 02
    The Challenge
  • 03
    Our Approach
  • 04
    Results & Outcomes

Project Overview

Akamai was seeking a technical partner to help bring a Terraform Provider to life. Internally, time and subject matter experience was limited. While there were a few attempts to get the Terraform Provider off the ground, it was evident Akamai needed to engage a trusted partner with deep expertise in HashiCorp’s ecosystem.

Our original charter was to build a functioning MVP yet over time, we became the ‘go-to’ vendor partner who could help accelerate the development for business unit specific modules. Throughout this collaboration, we not only contributed to building technical solutions but also played a crucial role in imparting open-source best practices, fostering a community-driven perspective, and instilling a culture of iterative, high-velocity release cycles.


The Challenge

As Terraform Providers became the new normal given the rise of Infrastructure-as-Code (IaC), Akamai was falling behind their competitors. Several long standing clients expressed being dissatisfied with the lack of IaC capabilities which led to customers seeking alternative solutions from competitors offering Terraform Providers. The increasing demand for better customer satisfaction, retention and a need for more internal expertise in open-source drove the need to build a highly performant Terraform Provider. Beyond that, Akamai operated in a competitive environment that expected rapid development, however, their historical closed-source approach posed a barrier to embracing open-source collaboration.


Our Approach

To alleviate these challenges, we devised & deployed a comprehensive approach:

Collaboration Tooling


We introduced an open collaboration and real-time communication channel via Slack, enabling stakeholders and product owners to actively participate in release reviews and async communication. Next, the introduction of public repositories such as GitHub facilitated issue tracking, collaboration and established OSS best practices.

Support System Model


Recognizing the need for efficiency, we designed a support system model incorporating an in-house Subject Matter Expert (SME) to enhance the support process and streamline the delivery of updates and releases to address specific use cases of varying clients.

New Feature Development


We played a pivotal role in developing essential components within the Terraform Provider, such as AppSec, DNS, GTM, Network Lists, and Property Sub-Providers. These initiatives were critical in establishing a robust and versatile solution which served the needs of their enterprise customers.

Iterative Processes


The collaboration adhered to a systematic process encompassing several key phases, starting with a comprehensive discovery phase to deeply understand Akamai’s services. Close communication with field operatives and architects was maintained to ensure precise input, facilitating a robust foundation for solution design. The commitment extended beyond initial development, emphasizing continuous maintenance to uphold the effectiveness of the solutions implemented.

Tools & Tech Selection

The selection of tools and technologies was strategic, aiming to address the specific project requirements:


Began using for its robust integration options, customizable workflows and comprehensive build tracking capabilities.

GitHub Actions

Moved to GitHub Actions to improve in the release process, resulting in a streamlined and efficient workflow.


The core language chosen for building Terraform Providers, Go’s efficiency and performance were critical in meeting the project’s demands.


Results & Outcomes

The partnership between Akava & Akamai delivered significant outcomes & value:

Open-Source Launch

By spearheading the development of Akamai’s Terraform Provider, we played a pivotal role in propelling them from ground zero to a remarkable milestone of 2.3+ million downloads. Our collaborative efforts not only resulted in widespread adoption but also garnered official HashiCorp certification for the product, a testament to the robustness and compliance of our solution. We actively contributed to Akamai’s integration into the open-source community, solidifying their presence into the thriving ecosystem.

Cultural Transformation

Revolutionized Akamai’s longstanding paradigm from a traditionally ‘closed-source’ and enterprise-centric model to a dynamic, agile, and open-source mindset, placing a strong emphasis on community-driven principles. This transformation involved adopting cutting-edge practices, introducing innovative concepts, and actively advocating for Akamai within the open-source community. By embracing these changes, we not only redefined Akamai’s approach but also set a benchmark for collaborative engagement and forward-thinking strategies in the open-source landscape.

Consistent Delivery

Despite encountering diverse challenges, we not only met but consistently exceeded our deliverables and projected timelines. This remarkable achievement served as a linchpin in fortifying Akamai’s position within the market and fostering stronger relationships with their customers. The collective dedication and resilience demonstrated by our team surpassed expectations, unequivocally ensuring the satisfaction of our clients and affirming our commitment to delivering excellence in the face of adversity.

Long-Term Partnership

Our consistent and impactful deliveries for Akamai led to the continual renewal of our contract. As we seamlessly transitioned between stakeholders, our focus remained on tailoring custom features to meet the specific needs of each business unit. Our contributions extended beyond initial development as we expanded the capabilities of the Terraform Provider to include crucial elements like Application Load Balancer, API Gateway, DNS, CPS, and Properties API products.

MongoDB Project Access

Codebase </> Source Code

Our Terraform Provider was expertly crafted from the ground up, revolutionizing our processes and delivering an outstanding product that launched us into the open-source realm. Akava’s unique fusion of technical prowess, innovation, and commitment, combined with an in-depth comprehension of our business and end-customer needs, were instrumental in the success of the program.

Anand K.

Sr Director, Engineering