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

n and
management, content routing, content edge delivery, content switching, and
intelligent network services.

Cisco’s advanced content delivery system is designed to meet the transport
needs of Internet service providers including, overlay content service
providers, Web hosting firms and application service providers. The Cisco
system leverages service providers existing network cache and server
infrastructures to deliver end-to-end content delivery solutions.

Charter members of the alliance are participating in CDN field trials,
which will enable the deployment of next-generation content networking
services, including advanced e-business applications, interactive gaming,
e-learning, and live television-like streaming. The tests will specifically
measure Cisco’s ability to work billing bugs for bandwidth out of the system.

Next-generation content delivery remains illusive, but the Cisco initiative
may permit content-based company’s to transform the nature of the Internet
and take it to higher performance levels. The key is creating profit
streams for businesses that will pay for bandwidth used during transport.

By moving content out of the center of the Net, closer to the edge, Cisco’s
architecture is capable of delivering content that meets the demanding
expectations of the end user.

Just because efficient billing is at the heart of the Cisco system, smaller
service providers will not necessarily be priced out of competing with
larger content deliver specialists. Independent ISPs remain free to strike
peering agreements to establish interconnection deals with the network
access points of their choice.

The only difference is, service providers may finally have the means to
establish accurate billing systems for the bandwidth used to transport
content across the many networks that make up the Internet. Cisco’s
delivery enhancement is capable of quickly opening up new enterprise-like
revenue streams for most service providers that offer content services today.

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