Sun Microsystems, Novell and internet investment company CMGI are spending up to $300m on building a worldwide network of data centres to try to speed up the delivery of internet content.
CMGI will be the majority owner of the network, called CMGion. Sun and Novell have each invested $20m in the venture and will also contribute technology.
Novell will supply CMGion with software from its Directory Enabled Network Infrastructure Model (Denim) architecture, which includes directory and caching services, while Sun will provide hardware.
CMGI chief executive David Wetherell, who will head the venture on an interim basis, said it would cost between $200m and $300m to build the first four data centres. "We see CMGion as introducing a next-generation solution to a current generation problem," he said.
The aim is to build a network that can deliver large quantities of online data anywhere in the world more efficiently than is currently possible over the internet.
It will be based on an application service provider (ASP) model, and data centres located throughout the world will deliver content to users and host privacy-enabled personal portals.
Anonymous profiling technology will be provided by CMGion's partner, Engage Technologies, and hosting services by ASP NaviSite.
The venture hopes to generate revenues from charging customers fees to access the network and from charging licensing fees to organisations wanting to set up similar networks. An official rollout is planned for the start of next year.
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