Exodus adds content speeding services

InfoWorld |  Software

REFLECTING A SHIFT in the breadth of services available via traditional Web hosting, managed services and hosting provider Exodus Communications this week dove further into the content delivery business.

Exodus inked a deal with Novell's new content management subsidiary Volera to offer a managed server-side content acceleration service. The move coincided this week with a host of other content delivery bids by vendors at the Demo 2001 show in Phoenix, Ariz.

The Exodus deal brings to its customers Volera's Content Exchange service, which speeds content delivery by serving it directly from caches and by dynamically encoding content for delivery via CDNs (content delivery networks).

The addition of content speeding services to Internet hosting is a trend the industry will likely see more of down the road, according to David Willis, program director at Meta Group in Stamford, Conn.

"Right now [the industry] is bifurcated. You do distributed hosting to get availability, then you do content delivery for performance," Willis said. The trend of consolidation will bring more of a "combined story," in which CDN services are "just another form of distributed hosting," according to Willis.

Exodus has already started down this path, adding the alliance with Volera to an existing relationship with CDN provider Mirror Image Internet. As part of Exodus' three-tier content distribution strategy, these moves bring the company into competition with Akamai and other CDN service providers.

"Content distribution will be a key managed service that Exodus provides along with storage, security, network, and other services," said Scott Emo, director of product marketing at Santa Clara, Calif.-based Exodus. "Looking into the future, I see content distribution as the dial tone on a telephone; people will just expect it to be there as part of any managed service."

Other vendors are getting on board. At Demo 2001, several smaller companies stepped up their content delivery efforts.

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