Akamai Sandbox

Overview

Every day, developers write code and spin up development environments for new feature requests or bug fixes. But often those features or bug fixes are untested, simply because there is no way for developers to replicate their complex production environment within their dev environments.

We’ve heard from multiple customers who have requested a local Akamai server environment where they can test their changes locally before promoting the changes over to their Akamai production environment. This mode of testing can reduce the risk of finding issues later in the development cycle and improves development velocity.

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Introducing Akamai Sandbox

Akamai Sandbox is an isolated Akamai environment (i.e., a sandbox) that you can use for testing development versions of property configurations before deploying to the content delivery network.

With Akamai Sandbox, individual developers or dev teams can spin up concurrent and isolated Akamai sandboxes quickly to rapidly test Akamai configurations in their development environment, while accessing origins running locally or behind a firewall.

Example Test Workflow
An example development workflow including three dev teams (Checkout Page Team, Product Page Team, and Search/SEO Team) with Akamai Sandbox

 

Key benefits

  • Quick provisioning and easy setup: Quickly provision a sandbox within minutes by either referring to an existing config or cloning an existing sandbox.

  • Isolated and concurrent Akamai sandboxes: Create up to 100 concurrent active sandboxes with the same hostname so different teams can work on their sandboxes independently.

  • Reduced risk of production issues: Sandbox helps developers simply and efficiently check their work for any problematic issues prior to promoting their code to production.

 

How it works

In the flowchart below, you can see how the four main stages of the Sandbox request-response flow work, starting with the user’s (i.e., developer’s) laptop. The four stages are:

  1. Request from browser
  2. Request from sandbox
  3. Response from origin
  4. Response to browser
Request response flow
The request-response flow with Akamai Sandbox

 

Different setup configurations for Sandbox

Sandbox was designed for the different types of development environments customers have today. Following are the three configuration models our customers requested for different types of environments.

  • Local and Containerized Model: Customers who have their entire web application stack running locally in containers or behind the firewall can spin up an Akamai environment by choosing to run the Sandbox client locally within their laptops or within a machine that has access these local instances.
  • Cloud-Based Model: Organizations that have embraced the cloud and spin up thousands of dev environments or microservices per week can now spin up an individual Akamai environment alongside these dev environments or microservices by choosing to run the Sandbox client as another microservice within their architecture.
Example running inside cloud
An example representation of running Akamai Sandbox inside a cloud-based environment
  • Hybrid Model: Customers who have a combination of both cloud-based microservices and locally contained instances can choose to run the Sandbox client in a machine that has access to both of these environments.

 

Getting started

Step #1: Get access to the Akamai Sandbox beta.

  • You automatically gain access to Sandbox as long as you have Beta Channel entitlement in your Akamai contract. If you do not have Beta Channel in your contract, then go to Marketplace through the Akamai Luna Control Center portal and add the Beta Channel for the product you have on Akamai (the Beta Channel is a zero-cost item in Marketplace).

Step #2: Set up a sandbox.

  • The quickest way to set up a sandbox is by using the Sandbox CLI. See the Get started with Sandbox CLI guide to begin creating your first sandbox.

 

Limitations

As of October 2018, sandboxes created with Akamai Sandbox will only provide users the ability to modify an Akamai delivery configuration. These sandboxes are designed to work across all Akamai web delivery products, including Ion, Dynamic Site Accelerator, Rich Media Accelerator, Terra Alta, Web Application Accelerator, Aqua Ion Mobile and Dynamic Site Delivery.

However, if users have certain Akamai products (Web Application Protector, Kona Site Defender, Bot Manager, or API Gateway) tied to their configs, Akamai Sandbox cannot apply rules or policies associated to these products against Sandbox traffic.

Also please note that, for this early phase of the product, Akamai has disabled HTTP/2 connections to sandboxes by actively removing HTTP/2 behaviors from Sandbox configs.

 

Additional resources

Sandbox API
Incorporate the Sandbox API into your agile workflow to create sandboxes that can help you improve efficiency and identify potential issues well in advance of deployment.

Idea portal
Share your fantastic ideas and suggestions on what you’d like us to build into Sandbox.