Traditionally, when Akamai is used with Sitecore, only static content can be cached on Akamai. While caching images, scripts and other static files can improve site performance by lightening the load on the Sitecore content delivery (CD) server, a lot of work remains for the CD server. Any part of a site that contains personalization must be handled by the CD server.
This approach appears to be simple: the visitor connects to the Sitecore instance; Sitecore builds the page; Sitecore returns the page to the visitor. The problem is that this puts a huge load on the Sitecore instance. So then you have to start scaling up or out, neither of which is trivial or inexpensive to implement.
It also means that you cannot take full advantage of a CDN. Since personalization has to run on the Sitecore instance, the CDN's use is limited to delivering images and other static assets.
Uniform moves the execution of personalization rules from the CD server to Akamai. Since Akamai can deliver content to visitors much faster than even the most highly tuned and scaled Sitecore architecture, and can do it with virtually no configuration, you end up with the fastest possible personalized Sitecore sites.
To understand how this works, consider the two things that happen when Akamai receives a request: the request is for a page that is not currently cached (called a cache miss), or the request is for a page that is currently cached (called a cache hit).
What happens during a cache miss?
When a cache miss happens, Akamai must make a call to the Sitecore instance. This does slow things down, but since the personalization does not run on the Sitecore instance, Sitecore is able to handle the response faster that it would if it had to build a personalized response.
What happens during a cache hit?
This is where thing get interesting, because this time Akamai has everything it needs to handle the request. It does not need to make a call to the Sitecore instance. The result is the fastest possible performance.
Visitor tracking is handled using an asynchronous call to the Sitecore instance using the Uniform tracker. This way, Sitecore is able to continue to track visitor behavior without affecting site performance.
And if you don't need to track visitor behavior in Sitecore, you can use the Uniform to write visitor behavior data to any repository you like, including Google Analytics, a CDP, your own data warehouse, etc.