Network Appliance Adds to Caching Appliance Family

SAN MATEO (05/01/2000) - Network Appliance Inc. on Monday took the wraps off its NetCache 1100 appliance, a Web and streaming media caching device aimed at deployments in remote enterprise offices, as well as in ISPs' POPs (points of presence), to cache HTTP and streaming media content.

The new appliance, placed at corporate and ISP gateways, will help Network Appliance extend the edge of the network closer to the end-user to speed up Web-site response times as well as encourage use of streaming video and audio for company meetings and business training, said Ed Chow, NetCache product marketing manager.

"What we're about is data management solutions," Chow explained. "As I deploy this caching infrastructure [in my business], I'm asking myself, 'What can I do to enhance this? What can I get out of it besides beefing up Web site performance?' NetCache is letting you add value-added services and filters and other capabilities that maybe couldn't get out to remote offices as easily before."

NetCache C1100 supports multiple streaming media protocols as well as caching and content-delivery protocols, such as WCCP (Web Cache Control Protocol) and ICAP (Internet Content Adaptation Protocol). This support also allows third-party vendors to add services including virus scanning and localized advertising to the stream, said Chow, noting that the device also has ties to LDAP (Lightweight Data Access Protocol) and Radius information sources. The company will add Windows NT authentication connections in the near future.

"[Streaming media] is one of the killer apps that makes caching a requirement," Chow said. "If I want streaming media, I must figure out how to manage bandwidth, and with streaming media, I think the amount of bandwidth people use is going to be increased exponentially."

With the aid of C1100 devices, businesses could conduct all-company meetings via streaming video and sidestep worries of remote offices missing the information or being cut off from a conference call, Chow added.

"We're finally able to say we have an end-to-end solution," Chow said.

"[Network Appliance caching] has always been very strong at the core, but now we're pushing that strength out to the branch office and end-user."

The NetCache C1100, with a 1U form factor, supports NetCache 4.1.1 software; pricing starts at $5,950. The appliance will be available this month.

Network Appliance, in Sunnyvale, California, is at www.networkappliance.com.

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