HP and Inktomi join forces for caching

Hewlett-Packard Co. and Inktomi Corp. struck a deal on Wednesday to pool product resources for the development of three edge- and server-caching and streaming media appliances.

As part of the agreement, HP will embed Inktomi's Traffic Server and Traffic Server Media-IXT software into customized HP Netservers. The resulting products -- the HP Web Cache SA 2100, the HP Web Cache SA 2200, and the HP Media Cache SA 2250 -- will aim to speed content delivery by maximizing bandwidth and off-loading tasks from critical servers, according to officials at the companies. The products are expected to ship in the second quarter.

According to Kevin Brown, vice president of marketing for network products at Inktomi, in Foster City, Calif., the alliance will help Inktomi expand its presence into the enterprise market.

"Inktomi has been very strong in the carrier space and we are just now getting into enterprise space. First carrier networks felt the pain of how to scale up, how to handle traffic spikes, and how to make networks smarter," Brown said. "Now this pain is extending to enterprises. Enterprises are feeling the same challenges -- that is it not just a few people going out to the Web but everyone in the company, and that is combined with the increase in Web casts and online sales presentations."

"[The Internet] is starting to scale up and become part of the mission-critical business," Brown said.

Officials from HP highlighted the importance of caching and streaming media devices in HP's server appliance strategy.

"This alliance allows [HP] to broaden and strengthen [its] server appliance family of products. It lets us have a very broad offering based on key partnerships with companies like Inktomi and Intel," said Frank Harbist, general manager of server appliances at HP, in Palo Alto, Calif.

"Streaming media is a natural extension of caching and content distribution. What we are seeing in this market is that the ability to deliver rich content, including video -- whether for an enterprise Web cast or for a service provider offering -- is a natural part of the portfolio. HP is no exception there," Harbist said.

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