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Internet Caches Pump Up The Volume.

As the content delivery market zips into high gear, vendors of caching technologies are racing to keep pace with systems that can efficiently distribute multimedia to multimillions of users.

Makers of streaming media caches, which store files closer to users for faster delivery and also "split" live streams to multiple users, are cranking up their capacity. They're also incorporating new management features to make distributing content easier.

Network Appliance (www.netapp. com) this week plans to launch several products that promise faster and smarter ways to distribute multimedia content. One is NetCache 5.0 software, the guts of the company's caching appliances, which adds the ability to cache files for video-on-demand applications. In conjunction with that announcement, NetApp plans to roll out its biggest caching appliance yet, the C6100, which can handle more than 1 gigabit per second of live streaming traffic and about 500 megabits per second of video-on-demand streaming.

NetApp touts the fact that its media caching appliances can stream Microsoft Windows Media, Apple Computer QuickTime and RealNetworks formats. "It's the only solution that offers ondemand and streaming for all the major protocols," says Amit Pandey, marketing director at NetApp.

The C6100, which can be configured with up to 2 terabytes of disk storage, will start at $74,000. NetApp this week also plans to release a smaller cache, the C1105, which will cost $10,950 and is designed for branch office locations or service providers' points of presence locations.

Finally, NetApp is introducing management tools based on software from WebManage Technologies (www.webmanage.com), which it acquired last month. Content Director automatically pushes out content to appliances in a distributed network -- and lets administrators set rules on how and when it does it -- while Content Reporter collects and analyzes user data, along with bandwidth and server usage statistics.

"What we were lacking was some kind of glue between the back-end storage and front-end delivery," Pandey says. "Now you can take streaming media files and distribute it throughout your network, and do all sorts of other nifty things on that data."

Not to be outdone, other media caching vendors are fortifying their offerings. Inktomi (www.inktomi. com) last month bought FastForward Networks (www.ffnet.com), which develops software for high-capacity Internet broadcasts; Digital Island (www.digisle.com) announced plans to use FastForward's technology to build out a massive streaming media network that it says will be able to send out up to 7.5 million streams at once. Entera (www.entera.com) in August released TeraEdge, its streaming media caching software. Axient Communications (www.axient.com) used Entera's software in the network that hosted the streaming media services of NBCOlympics.com.

Meanwhile, InfoLibria (www.infolibria. com), has upgraded its MediaMall software to handle up to 20,000 simultaneous broadband streams from a single server and added some remote management features. The MediaMall 2.3 streaming media caching appliance can handle at least 3 Gbps. The company has announced a deal with Japanese satellite carrier Space Communications,which will use InfoLibria's products to build a live and on-demand streaming media network.

In addition, EMC (www.emc. com) will resell InfoLibria's MediaMall products along with EMC's storage systems.

One sure bet, as networks get faster and more audio and video content is thrown online, streaming media caching technologies will soon be forced to scale to even bigger capacities.
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Title Annotation:Industry Trend or Event
Comment:Internet Caches Pump Up The Volume.(Industry Trend or Event)
Author:Spangler, Todd
Publication:Nonwovens Industry
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Oct 9, 2000
Words:558
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