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Cisco Gangs Up on Content Delivery

In its simplest form, peering is an invisible arrangement that exchanges Web-bound traffic between Internet service providers. Technically speaking, peering is an interconnection agreement that exchanges routing information based on Border Gateway Protocols.

Larger ISPs with big backbones basically agree to transport traffic from smaller ISPs in order to establish regional end points. By permitting peering parties' to peek into network access points, individual network owners provide the glue that binds the Internet together.

It should come as no big surprise that Cisco Systems Inc. Monday moved to form a major content alliance tasked with improving content delivery services in tandem with the launch of its new router lineup that is designed to do the same.

Industry leaders including Cable & Wireless, Digital Island, Genuity, GlobalCenter, Mirror Image, NaviSite, PSINet, and ServInt, along with technology vendor Network Appliance joined Cisco as charter members in its speedy content cause.

Tasked with accelerating the adoption of compatible Content Delivery Networks technology throughout the industry, the pact intends to define new specifications for peering standards. The alliance said it would submit a draft of the standards to the Internet Engineering Task Force later this year.

Cisco believes that enhanced content authorization between networks, and sharing logging or billing information for transit charges, will resolve routing issues that are currently convoluted by private, bilateral and multilateral peering agreements that can be free, or fee-based deals for transport.

The content alliance said it would develop open standards and protocols to advance content networking and deliver key technologies for a number of emerging areas, including content peering. With content peering standards in place, the sum becomes much greater than the many parts.

Web site owners will be free to work with their preferred hosting service provider, and still gain the reach of the combined peered networks. Cisco and its partners will be well positioned to profit from leading the charge into content delivery routing.

Krish Ramakrishnan, Cisco vice president and general manager, said the alliance is taking a two-pronged approach to deploy highly profitable content delivery services.

"By working with key service provider customers and leading technology providers, we are ensuring the adoption of CDN services is as smooth and rapid as possible," Ramakrishnan said. "Content Peering is a natural evolution of CDNs. Just as ISPs peer their networks today to share bandwidth and improve end-to-end performance, so will CDNs be peered in the future."

Cisco's CDN system, enables service providers to deliver new content-based routing techniques while simultaneously maintaining Wen site availability and security that minimizing response times, otherwise knows as the World Wide Wait.

Setting the benchmark for deploying content-delivery infrastructures, the Cisco CDN allows service providers to distribute content closer to the end user and overcome issues network bandwidth availability bottlenecks, latency obstacles, server scalability, and congestion issues during peak usage periods.

The system is made up of five technology areas, content distributio