Key Components NetApps center-to-edge components leverage the companys enterprise-class caching and storage hardware with powerful content management software to deliver content throughout the network (see story, "Software Is Difference").We also looked at NetApps Data Fabric Manager 1.1 software, which costs $19,400 for as many as five managed appliances and allows centralized installation and management of appliances from a single management point. Although Data Fabric Manager isnt essential to the Center-to-Edge Solution, since it doesnt contribute to the packages content delivery and reporting, it does provide streamlined management capabilities that make the entire system more attractive. The $40,000 ContentDirector application is the key ingredient in the hardware/software mix because it handles the task of distributing content throughout a network. The software proved to be up to the job in tests: Using ContentDirectors GUI, we easily created content distribution tasks, and we used its scheduling capabilities to automate delivery of content to caches. ContentDirector supports IP multicast, which should help IT managers keep network traffic to a minimum when content is replicated throughout their networks. In addition to painlessly scheduling content delivery across the test network, we used ContentDirectors built-in security functions to easily prevent users from accessing presentations before their scheduled release time, even if the cache was already populated with the newest presentations. ContentReporter 2.1.1 (priced at $20,000 for the core application and $1,500 per managed device) is a reporting tool that provides IT managers with important information about performance issues such as bandwidth utilization and errors. ContentReporter is ideal for ISPs and other service organizations because it can show where resources are in the most demand, as well as whom to bill for usage, although it might be overkill for some sites. Using ContentReporter, we could track which URLs on our intranet servers were requested most and determine which users consumed the most Internet resourcesan important statistic for billing.
Although we tested a number of software components within the package, we found that NetApps Center-to-Edge content delivery package revolves around two applications: ContentDirector 2.0 and ContentReporter 2.1.1.