A new caching solution created for speeding up content delivery
was launched at DEMO 2001 in Phoenix, Ariz. Monday.
Billed as the go-to product in FineGround Networks Inc.'s
fledgling arsenal, FineGround Condenser is the end result of a new
technology that enables content and service providers cut down on
costs while granting clients extremely fast content delivery.
Dubbed Condensation technology, FineGround's intent is not to
replace Web caching, but to complement it. True to its name, the
product works by miniaturizing dynamic content in real-time. For
instance, dynamically generated Web pages that are visited
regularly by a user or a group of users typically change only by a
few percent between successive visits.
FineGround Condenser transmits only the changes in the page
between successive visits, which eliminates extra network traffic.
This often results in bandwidth savings of up to 95 percent and
accordingly, an improvement in the end users' online
The software is installed at the content provider between the
content server and the Internet. It is also self-sufficient:
condenser automatically minimizes content without requiring any
changes to the content, content server, or end users' Web
What makes Condenser important?
Nat Kausik, chief executive officer and president of FineGround
Networks, acknowledged that although the Internet generally
provides a sufficient platform for the intelligent delivery of
static content, it lacks the network intelligence required to
handle dynamically generated content such as e-business
transactions, news and stock quotes that are continuously updated
on a Web site.
"Our mission is to deliver scalable content acceleration
solutions that not only impact the quality of service delivered to
end-users, but also reduce bandwidth costs by an order of magnitude
for our customers," Kausik said.
FineGround's contention is that users will pay the $50,000 (base
price) for the Condenser to scale back bandwidth costs. Targeted to
embracers of the open-source movement, the product is currently
available on Linux platforms.
With Monday's news, FineGround became the latest content
delivery firm to tantalize the industry with a new offering.
A couple of weeks ago, Novell quietly morphed its caching engine
division into a what it hopes will be an all-purpose content
delivery platform, called Volera Inc. The outfit is co-backed by
Accenture and Nortel Networks.
On Monday, Volera lifted the secretive veil from its new
products, the purpose of which sounds very much like Condenser's
goals: Volvera aims to combine caching and content management
services to create a creating a platform that speeds content
Volera, like FineGround, acknowledged that the Internet is
sufficiently suited for low-bandwidth purposes, but that it must be
improved if more advanced technologies -- streaming media,
decentralized Web sites, or broadcast events -- are to thrive.
Those in the CDN space who listen to Volera's investment bank
Morgan Stanley/Dean Witter have reason to be encouraged: the bank
estimates the market for content networking, which includes
caching, content distribution services and switching
infrastructure, will reach $22 billion by 2004.
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