IBM and Inktomi Corp. last week joined the growing ranks of content delivery vendors that are providing technology to businesses that want to enhance their ability to manage and distribute business applications behind their firewalls.
IBM, of Armonk, N.Y., and Inktomi, of Foster City, Calif., announced a deal to provide ECDN (enterprise content delivery network) technology to companies running Inktomi technology on IBMs eServer xSeries systems. The technology will help overcome network congestion without adding expensive bandwidth and difficult-to-manage router upgrades.
In addition, IBM Global Services is now reselling Inktomi software products, including Inktomi Enterprise Search and Inktomi content networking software.
Greg Howard, an analyst with The HRTC Group, in San Andreas, Calif., said other vendors, including Akamai Technologies Inc., Cisco Systems Inc. and Volera Inc., are also positioning to make moves into the market.
The promise of ECDN and its ability to deliver content within an enterprise is best seen through streaming media. Howard called streaming media "the killer app" for ECDNs.
In addition, Howard said the use of ECDNs to distribute applications throughout the enterprise is on the rise.
Avi Freedman, vice president and chief network architect at Akamai, said the Cambridge, Mass., company is developing a similar product called Akamai Enterprise Suite, which will go into beta this summer.
Freedman said Akamai customers want the CDN service Akamai delivers but said they dont want the company to put their servers behind their firewalls. "People want their own solution," he said.
While Akamai customers wont let Akamai deploy its service on their networks, "they want the services weve proven we can manage," said Freedman. However, "the irony is were going to pour the technology into boxes and run it for them," Freedman said. "Its more of a security model driving it."
Dick Anderson, general manager of IBMs Digital Media Group, said IBM sees the adoption of enhanced content delivery and streaming media services as the next critical application for enterprises. Anderson said a key component of the strategy of the media group is to partner with leading software providers.