Loudcloud, CacheFlow enhance hosting performance

Managed services provider Loudcloud on Wednesday said it is partnering with CacheFlow to offer corporations a caching option designed to improve the delivery of content from Web sites.

LoudCloud calls it the Caching Cloud service. Companies that choose the managed service offering will receive a service level agreement (SLA) along with the necessary software, hardware and services to implement a project, said Scott Dunlap, Loudcloud's vice president of marketing. The hardware includes CacheFlow's cIQ Server Accelerator 700 Series, a content delivery server designed to address the traffic issues of a specific Web site.

CacheFlow's server accelerator offloads some of the content delivery tasks normally handled by a Web server, said Mark Kraynak, CacheFlow director of strategic marketing. The server accelerator can serve anywhere from five to 10 times more content than the Web server, he said.

Pricing for the Caching Cloud service is based on a per-CPU basis. A typical customer may pay US$100,000 per month for the package, and can install it as part of a preexisting datacenter contract or with one of Loudcloud's data center partners like AT&T Corp. or Exodus Communications Inc., Dunlap said. The monthly pricing may be attractive to companies that are easing into the market and seeing their bandwidth increase over time, he said.

Customers could also go it alone and implement CacheFlow's cIQ Server Accelerator themselves. The starting price for the CacheFlow cIQ Server Accelerator 700 Series is $9,995, Kraynak said. It comes down to a philosophical decision as to whether a company wants to go with a managed service provider like Loudcloud or do a project in-house with its own IT staff, Dunlap said.

Implementing the Caching Cloud service could take between eight and 12 weeks to complete, Dunlap said. It may take only a few days to add greater caching capacity to an existing LoudCloud customer's setup, he said.