Net Appliance offers content delivery

By Jason Meserve, Network World |  Software

Enterprise users looking to push files closer to end users have a new option for building their own caching system with Network Appliance's Enterprise Content Delivery Network (CDN) initiative.

Launching this week, the plan is to bundle Network Appliance's NetCache and Filer products with enhanced management software that can be used to build an internal CDN similar to those offered by service providers such as Akamai.

Files, documents and streaming media stored on servers and Network Appliance Filers (large storage devices) at corporate offices are pushed to NetCaches in remote offices for easier retrieval and use by local users. This saves time and traffic on WAN links because all files are retrieved on the LAN.

As part of its enterprise strategy, the firm is releasing Version 5.1 of its NetCache appliance software and Content Director 2.0, which is used for managing the CDN.

Content Director 2.0 features new controls for setting caps on the amount of bandwidth used for pushing content to and serving content from NetCache devices. Distribution encryption using Secure Sockets Layer is available through a partnership with cryptography company Widevine Technologies of Seattle. Network Appliance has also added compression technologies to save bandwidth.

Content Director also lets companies generate reports on how content pushed to the edge is being used. "This lets companies see if their distribution policies are actually working," says Steve Duplessie, a senior analyst at Enterprise Storage Group.

With NetCache, support for IP Multicast has been added, and the streaming media proxy is now endorsed by RealNetworks.

Prices start at $50,000 for a package with one top-end Filer and 10 NetCaches.

Network Appliance: www.netapp.com.

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