Cisco has shelled out $49 million for a four per cent stake in a company that claims to speed up Web content delivery by between two and 10 per cent.
Called Akamai, the company has installed 900 servers across 25 carrier networks in 12 countries to distribute Web content according to areas where traffic is likely to be heaviest. For example, details of a local event would be sent to the server nearest that region so users can access the information quickly.
The servers update this work every few seconds so content continously moves around the network to ensure users can access information using the most efficient routes.
Content providers that use Akamai's service includes Yahoo!, CNN and Go Network.
According to Akamai chairman and chief executive, George Conrades, the company's alliance with Cisco will enable Akamai's servers to take advantage and work more closely with Cisco's networking equipment, which is used by 80 per cent of the Internet's traffic.
He said: "We guarantee Internet content delivery by dealing with the congestion problems of the Internet. Our service sits between the content provider's site and the user so information gets to the user quickly and reliably."
Cisco and Akamai will jointly develop protocols and algorithms to improve content based routing and switching technologies within Cisco's IOS software and hardware platforms.
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