By Michael Caton  |  Posted 2005-02-07 Print this article Print

Companies looking for a way to distribute multimedia or large files to internal and external audiences will find that Kontiki Inc.s Delivery Management System 4.0 provides the flexibility and customization needed to suit a range of purposes.

eWEEK Labs tests showed that Kontiki Delivery Management System 4.0 provides strong management tools for delivering multimedia and other content, while enabling companies to maintain control over that content. Priced at $87 per seat for intranet and extranet usage, the Kontiki Delivery Management System is affordable for most sites. (Per-terabyte pricing is available for Internet sites, although Kontiki officials declined to specify pricing for competitive reasons.)

Kontikis approach to streaming Windows Media differs significantly from other delivery systems, such as Reflect Systems Inc.s ReflectNet and ReflectWeb. Kontiki distributes streaming content and large data files in a wrapper application that can be used to promote other content or marketing messages while tracking and ensuring content delivery. Applications such as ReflectNet and ReflectWeb integrate presentations with video and audio in a single stream.

Click here to read about how Petro Stopping Centers is using ReflectNet services to educate employees and inform customers. Kontiki Delivery Management System 4.0 includes four components for managing the system: Network Publisher, Network Manager, Network Protector and Kontiki Analyzer. A fifth component, the Kontiki Delivery Manager client, downloads content to internal client systems. External users can use an Internet Explorer plug-in to manage downloads.

The Network Publisher let us manage content delivery from the server, while the Network Manager let us distribute content efficiently over the network. The Network Protector provides directory-based authentication to ensure content reaches only the intended recipients, and the Kontiki Analyzer reports on content delivery status.

The client-side Delivery Manager application provides broad flexibility for ensuring that content gets to intended recipients and for promoting additional content through a customizable interface. The Network Manager interface allowed us to customize several aspects of the Delivery Manager experience.

The system supports several management and content-specific options that are useful for distributing information internally and externally. For example, we could specify if the Delivery Manager should start at client startup.

Kontiki Delivery Management Systems Network Manager also gives administrators the ability to manage bandwidth settings as well as a delivery grid that comprises file servers and clients distributed across the network. Clients can act as peer distribution systems, and administrators managing distributed users will like that the system can throttle downloads to speeds appropriate for their bandwidth and can resume where it left off if interrupted.

We used the Network Publisher component to organize and manage distribution of content to users. Network Publisher uses a wizard-based approach to organize content and control some aspects of the Delivery Manager experience. For example, the Network Publisher gives companies the ability to display additional information within the Delivery Manager when streaming video and audio files.

The included distribution options—push, pull, e-mail and subscribe to content—should cover most company needs, but wed like to be able to more finely control schedule distributions.

Technical Analyst Michael Caton can be reached at michael_caton@ziffdavis.com.

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