RealTime IT News

Kontiki Revs Up Rich Media Delivery Via the Grid

Kontiki Monday said it has developed new grid delivery technology software for the enterprise and made its software more compatible with desktop products from Microsoft, including the about-to-be-released Windows Server 2003.

Grid computing is the practice of wielding the power of several computers to solve a particular problem at the same time for maximum effectiveness. In a technology take on the "multiple heads are better than one" theory, many major high-tech vendors, including IBM and Sun Microsystems are creating grid applications to power high-performance computing. Industry experts believe he call for such technology is at a high.

Kontiki offers grid delivery software that makes a company's servers, personal computers and infrastructure into a network capable of delivering videos, rich media documents and software.

The Sunnyvale, Calif. concern spruced up its flagship Delivery Management System with new software that enables grid streaming, which allows video or audio to be streamed and saved for later use; grid multicasting, which enables a single piece of content to be delivered to many users on a network; cost-optimized routing, which enables customers to cut bandwidth costs; and user-based service controls, which allow businesses to define service levels for users and groups.

The improvements are geared to give businesses more control over their content, as well as to distinguish between more and less expensive network links and route digital media at the lowest cost possible through intelligent routing. The company said that since much of this less expensive bandwidth is available on local area networks, "use of more costly WAN links can be reduced by as much as 80%."

Analysts are bullish on using grid technology to pipe content from one location to another. With more businesses using videoconferencing technology to hold meetings since Sept. 11, the use of grid technology to power online conferences is growing.

"The business case for rich media in the enterprise is compelling," said Lawrence Orans, senior analyst at Gartner. "Now, many of our clients are investigating technologies that will allow them to distribute rich media without causing network traffic jams or requiring substantial new infrastructure investments. Enterprise-based grid delivery is an emerging solution that enables the bandwidth-efficient distribution of rich media."

Kontiki also pledged integrated support for Embeddable Active X control, allowing integration with Internet Explorer and Microsoft Outlook. With this, digital content such as videos may be accessed and played right on Web pages or within applications without a separate software download.

Kontiki also features support for Windows Media Rights Manager to assure protection of content; support for Microsoft Producer, allowing companies to create and distribute digital media presentations; integration with Microsoft's Content Management Server and other server applications and content repositories to allow companies to ship content from their sales, marketing or content management applications to those who need the information; Integration of Windows Media 9; and full support for all Microsoft operating systems, including Windows 98, Windows 2000, Windows NT and Windows XP, and the imminent Windows Server 2003.

Launched in April 2002, Kontiki's flagship Kontiki Delivery Management System has over 2.5 million users. Before Monday, the company last upgraded its delivery suite in December 2002, when it first ensured corporate video delivery.