Akamai Geolocation Secret Sauce?

Anyone familiar with how Akamai does its geolocation? Presumably they
do more than Maxmind/WHOIS, but I suppose one or both of those could
factor in?

For those of you with ARIN IP space, do you typically SWIP things to
yourself to help clarify the locations where the IP space physically
resides to feed into Geolocation databases?


The people who could answer that question are quite unlikely to do so on a
public mailing list, but I'm sure that having a huge number of servers
deployed to a huge number of known physical locations on networks across
the globe plays a big part in the ingredients.

If you think Akamai or any other network is geolocating incorrectly,
contact their support. Or if you just want to know how the geo sauce is
made, many companies file the best parts of their recipes online:

Nick Harland

Hello Ray,

I'm not familiar with Akamai's secret sauce. But I suppose geolocation
databases can be outdated very fast over time and things are getting worst
with the ipv4 depletion...

However, if you have a very large number of nodes spread across the globe,
you could use rtt and edns0 client subnet to map users and their locations.



Akamai’s DB is frequently updated, not dependent upon SWIP, and has been measured as the most accurate of all the providers for something over a decade.

How they do it is proprietary. And sure, it can be wrong. Very wrong. But those times are rare, and they are good at updating when you tell them.

If you think about it, Akamai updates its CDN map frequently, and is not limited to the prefixes in the DFZ. So keeping a geo-location DB - not giving away any secrets here, just hypothesizing - seems like it would almost, but not quite, just fall out of all the other work they are doing anyway.