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Inktomi to Embrace Linux With Latest Traffic Server

Dec 05, 2000, 17:05 (1 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Clint Boulton)

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By Clint Boulton, InternetNews.com

Software maker Inktomi Corp. Tuesday released the latest version of its Traffic Server®, but with a twist -- the revised caching product supports the much ballyhooed Linux operating system.

The original product, licensed by such clients such as America Online Inc., Excite@Home and Merrill Lynch, was designed to reduce massive congestion over the Internet and increase network efficiency. Already impressive for its ability to scale beyond a terabyte of data, Traffic Server 4.0 features even more processing power than its predecessors as well as increased security measures.

The product upgrade is a price/performance one-two combination for companies that have adopted Linux, an increasingly popular operating environment.

Ed Haslam, chief strategist, Network Products Division at Inktomi, said the development broadens his firm's reach in an enterprise market that is quickly evolving.

"Supporting the widest range of platforms and data formats, Traffic Server software is optimized for both enterprises and service providers seeking to reduce bandwidth requirements, accelerate network performance and deploy a variety of edge services," Haslam said.

Such a promising product announcement as Tuesday's inclusion of Linux would seem to be icing on the cake for Inktomi's stock performance. But its very niche has made it susceptible to the same lumping other tech stocks have been taking from leery investors.

Despite reporting pro forma earnings of 7 cents per share as opposed to analyst estimates of 5 cents per share, Inktomi's stock treaded perilously near its 52-week-low of $21, selling for $24.25. Sales for Inktomi also sailed to 78.6 million from $27.1 million with the addition of customers. Earnings for fiscal year 2001 ballooned to 29 cents per share up from fiscal year 2000's 10 cents per share.

Inktomi, who claims it owns 50 percent of the caching product market in addition to hosting one of the hottest search engines in the high-tech sector, should be in good position going forward in spite of its flagging stock price.

Just last week AT&T WorldNet tapped Inktomi as its commerce service provider for Market Square, the newly redesigned online shopping service. These services now use the Inktomi Commerce Engine and provide AT&T WorldNet Service customers with access to millions of products and shopping tools for an easier, more complete online buying experience.

But adding Linux to the Traffic Server's already impressive phalanx of operating systems, including Solaris, Windows 2000, HP-UX, DEC, Irix and others, shows that Inktomi is dedicated to open-source standards, similar to the way IBM Corp. has readily embraced the technology for its eServers.

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