Sun Snags InfraSearch in Move Towards P2P

Napster may be facing the music in court, but the peer-to-peer (P2P) technology movement it spawned is taking the networking sector by storm, and even networking giant Sun Microsystems Inc. is sitting up and taking notice.

Sun Tuesday declared its intentions in that space, announcing it would acquire Burlingame, Calif.-based InfraSearch Inc. — a provider of P2P searching technology — in an all stock deal meant to strengthen its distributed computing research efforts.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Sun will fold InfraSearch into its San Francisco, Calif.-based Project Juxtapose (JXTA), an incubation research effort, headed up by computer scientist Bill Joy, with the goal of addressing new styles of distributed computing.

InfraSearch is currently developing a fully-distributed P2P search engine which Sun said has the ability to return richer and more timely content on the Internet. Sun is banking that the addition of InfraSearch’s technology to the JXTA efforts in P2P computing will address the network fundamentals of searching, sharing and storing information, which Sun believes is the key to harnessing the power of the Internet.

“Sun has always been a leading innovator and has invested heavily in technology that supports network computing; P2P is one viable style of network computing,” said Mike Clary, vice president of Sun and administrative head of JXTA. “Searching is a fundamental component needed to create compelling P2P applications. The acquisition of InfraSearch will help accelerate and foster Project Juxtapose into a meaningful community effort.”

Sun will account for the InfraSearch acquisition as a purchase, and said in-process R&D charges are expected to be immaterial.

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