Vendors Unveil Net Traffic, Content Tools

BOSTON (06/15/2000) - The growing demand for Internet traffic and content management technologies is sparking a flurry of vendor activity.

Earlier this month, for instance, Edgestreme Systems, a division of Avid Technology Inc. in Tewksbury, Massachusetts, and Seattle-based F5 Networks Inc., announced products that, although not similar, are aimed at giving service providers and corporations better Internet traffic and content management capabilities.

Though few sites need the the high bandwidth offered by such technologies right away, traffic management technologies are crucial for improving Web site performance, said Dwight Gibbs, chief techie geek at The Motley Fool, an online investment site in Arlington, Virginia.

"The fact that I can set it up and forget all about my bandwidth requirements is awesome," Gibbs said.

Edgestreme's technology, Edgestreme Cluster, lets users optimize delivery of streaming media and other high-bandwidth Internet content.

The product combines a proprietary distributed file system software, shared storage subsystem technologies and content management software to manage traffic between servers containing streaming media. The cluster system can support up to 5G-bps of streaming bandwidth and 5 terabytes of online storage, said Jill Mullen, a director at Edgestreme.

No Tweaking

One of the biggest advantages of the technology is that it allows users to boost streaming media performance without tweaking any of the underlying content, said Pete Mountanos, a vice president of streaming technologies at Streaming Media Inc. in Denver, which specializes in delivering full-motion video.

F5 Networks, meanwhile, is slated to release its new Big-IP content switch, designed to manage large amounts of Internet traffic at high speeds, said Steve Goldman, a vice president at the company.

The F5 Networks switch is one of the first commercial products to be based on the advanced Intel network processor called IXP12000. The user-programmable Intel processor adds more horsepower to F5 Network's existing load-balancing technologies and will provide up to 4G bits of bandwidth, according to the company.

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