CacheFlow Inc. last week beefed up its ability to handle streaming media files within its new cIQ Content Delivery family, which combines appliances and management tools for pushing files to the edge of a network.
Central to CacheFlow's new family is cIQ Director, an appliance for managing all HTTP, HTTPS, FTP and streaming content being handled by up to 100 Edge and Server Accelerator appliances. The one-rack-unit-sized device lets network professionals set policy for all the caching devices within a globally dispersed company or service provider network. It can be accessed by a stand-alone application or through Hewlett-Packard OpenView. Previously, management had to connect to individual devices or have local IT staffs set configurations for appliances on the premises.
"CIOs at headquarters can set policy for the caches to keep, prune or push content for all their global offices from one place," says William Hurley, program manager at The Yankee Group. "They don't have to dial into each device one by one."
The Director appliance sits in rack within the network and connects to Edge and Server Accelerators via the Internet or local IP network. Director can be used to set limits on how long a particular piece of content - be it a Web page or streaming media file - resides on an edge device. Managers can also use the system to see how many people are viewing particular bits of content. Also, schedules can be set to push content out to the caching devices during off-hours, when more bandwidth is available.
CacheFlow also announced it will now support Windows Media and QuickTime streaming formats, in addition to RealNetworks content. Customers can now use the three most popular streaming formats for delivering on-demand content. For those wanting to conduct live broadcasts over a CacheFlow-enabled network, Windows Media is the only option at the moment.
CIQ Director will be available in March and starts at US$14,995 for managing 10 nodes. The Windows Media streaming option can cost up to $7,500 extra depending on scale and whether the content will be on-demand or broadcast live.