RealTime IT News

Companies Band Together on Networking Caching Standard

A group of Internet companies are promoting a new protocol they say will help Internet software more efficiently use caching to save bandwidth and minimize network strain.

Web caching software company Inktomi Corp. is being joined by Microsoft Corp., Real Networks Inc. and Sun Microsystems Inc.

The Web Proxy Autodiscovery Protocol has already been integrated into the beta of Microsoft's Internet Explorer 5.0 and will be included in future versions of Real's G2 streaming media player.

Network caching is often deployed by corporations and Internet providers to speed access to data by temporarily storing copies of frequently-requested pages. The new protocol is designed to automatically locate caches on the network with no configuration changes required.

A draft of the standard will also be sent to the Internet Engineering Task Force.

Protocol enabled software will automatically connect users with caching servers in their region, will periodically query nearby servers and automatically connect to them. That ensures people who frequently travel with their computers will connect to the nearest servers, regardless of the region they're in.