CDN (content delivery network) giant Akamai Technologies today announced that it will discount cloud egress pricing, add ISO, SOC 2 and HIPAA compliance, and build out enterprise-scale cloud computing sites and distributed points of presence in over 50 cities as part of a new initiative \u2014 dubbed Connected Cloud \u2014 aimed at filling a niche between the hyperscalers and edge computing.\nThe idea is to fulfill what the company sees as unmet demand. In Akamai's view, modern applications are ncreasingly being broken into a range of different microservices. In many cases, those microservices need to be distributed across a geographically wide area, creating different computing needs than those addressed by most cloud vendors.\nOn one side, according to Akamai, are the hyperscalers, which offer deep, powerful computing services in a few different regions. On the other, there are CDN providers, whose services are more lightweight and designed for use in larger edge computing environments.\nAkamai to build out more cloud computing sites\nAkamai plans to add more enterprise-scale cloud computing sites \u2014 the company currently has 11, but plans to more than double that in 2023 \u2014 as well as address the needs of what it calls this this \u201cin-between\u201d market by adding more than 50 distributed sites.\u00a0\nThe plan there is to provide traditional virtual machine and container infrastructure in a lighter-weight package, designed to enable distributed microservices that might need more horsepower than is usually possible from an edge perspective, but require wider distribution than is usually possible from a large scale cloud data center.\nWhile the new data center construction is still in the works, Akamai said that several new features meant to capture more of the cloud computing market are available today. One is a new egress pricing structure designed to reduce the cost to companies that need to move their data into and out of the cloud with some regularity \u2014 which is widely cited as a pain point for such businesses. The other is a standards compliance policy, designed to ensure ISO, SOC 2 and HIPAA compliance to users that require it, giving more opportunity to take advantage of cloud computing for companies in highly regulated industries.\nAkamai added that it plans to implement PCI compliance by the end of the year, and that it plans to make continual investment in new standards, in order to reach a broader range of prospective customers.