Californian start-up Icast Communications has challenged crowds of push technology vendors with the launch of a line of multicast software products, which will enable distribution of video, audio and high volume data over company Intranets and the Internet.
Based on IP multicast technology, the applications promise to give network managers more bandwidth control and user identification than push technology products, which are bandwidth hungry.
Officials at Icast claim the applications are ideal for videoconferencing and distance learning programs and said that more products that could take advantage of the technology would be on the way.
While high implementation costs and infrastructure problems have typically inhibited the use of IP multicast, it is fast becoming accepted as a method for delivering real time mission critical data to the desktop.
Industry vendors like Sun, Silicon Graphics, Cisco and Microsoft are now adding support for the technology to their workstations, network hardware and routers and a plethora of software vendors are to offer plug-in versions of their multicast software.
Pricing for Icast?s software is near the low end of the multicast market at below $100 per seat on volume purchases and around $2,000 for server copies. The company?s server software runs on Unix and Microsoft Windows NT servers.
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