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F5 Networks, Inktomi Team to Enhance Caching Solutions

F5 Networks Inc. Thursday inked a strategic alliance with Inktomi Corp. to beef up its caching products.

F5 will integrate Inktomi Traffic Server network cache and Traffic Server Media-IXT software with its EDGE-FX family of products to create appliances that "will enable enterprises and service providers to scale their network infrastructure and optimize performance by improving the flow of content, including streaming and dynamic media, across the Internet and enterprise networks."

The two companies will utilize F5's iControl API to integrate their products. One example is the integration of the Traffic Server software with F5's BIG-IP Controller to create a high-performance cache clustering solution. The new partners said they will also collaborate on joint sales and marketing programs to deploy edge-to-edge content delivery solutions at enterprises and service providers.

"The new caching products will snap readily into F5's Internet Control Architecture and, when deployed with our high-performance iTCM products, will offer customers market-leading functionality and superior performance for managing all aspects of Internet traffic and content delivery," said Jeff Pancottine, senior vice-president of marketing and business development at F5.

F5 said it also plans to add new features to EDGE-FX, including Bandwidth Policy Management and DNS Caching, which it said would give customers better control over network management and costs. The Bandwidth Policy Management feature turns EDGE-FX into a policy enforcement point by allowing enterprises to limit the rate of traffic flow through it. The DNS Caching feature can help enterprises stave off the deployment of an extra DNS server by enabling EDGE-FX to proxy/cache DNS requests to an upstream DNS server or F5's 3-DNS global load balancer.

The company also said it intends to more tightly integrate EDGE-FX with 3-DNS Controller, GLOBAL-SITE Controller and SEE-IT Network Manager.

The new EDGE-FX Cache platforms are scheduled to start shipping in Q2 2001. Mid-range prices are expected to start at $9,990.