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Kasenna Unveils Content Distribution Platform

In a big departure for the company, Kasenna (www.kasenna.com) announced its new content distribution platform on Tuesday.

Its Video Content Distribution (VCD) architecture is software that helps deliver and cache data across content delivery networks.

Kasenna is a spin-off of SGI, which developed the MediaBase MPEG streaming solution. This is a broader move from the company's core streaming business. According to Neil McGowan, VP of Sales and Marketing, Kasenna still has over a 1,000 customers and will continue to support them, even with this new direction. Rather than compete with Real, Apple or Microsoft, McGowan said, Kasenna will incorporate those technologies into its new solution.

"The VCD architecture will help deliver the 'middle mile' rather than the last mile," said McGowan. "VCD reduce network storage at the edge of the network and helps latency issues."

Kasenna says its technology is better than other standard caching products because it only stores part of a file. It uses "metadata distribution" and "prefix caching" techniques to replicate just a few seconds of audio/video at the edge server. Metadata describes each video object's physical characteristics (e.g., format, size, bit-rate), rights and locations of the complete video object.

This new line will target customers like Akamai and Digital Island, as well as enterprise clients that want to create their own content delivery solution.

"The sheer size of broadband video files makes traditional performance methods designed for small web objects impractical," said Satish Menon, Vice President of R&D at Kasenna. "For example, a five-minute, TV-quality video clip is 56MB. Duplicating millions of such clips on thousands of edge servers breaks the business model for broadband video applications. Kasenna's new VCD architecture solves this problem, enabling network providers and enterprises to deliver high quality video when and where it's needed while maintaining control over each video asset. This opens up streaming video commerce opportunities."

Part of the savings is in storage. "It's both bandwidth efficient, and it saves on storage capacity at the edge servers," said Gerry Kaufhold, Principal Analyst of Cahners In-Stat Group.

According to the company, its VCD technology is similar to FastForward Networks' software which helps deliver and manage live streams across a network. Last month, Inktomi purchased FastForward for $1.3 billion, to add live streaming delivery to its existing on-demand caching solution.

Kasenna's VCD software solution will run on Sun, SGI IRIX and Linux operating systems, and will be sold in December.

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