SUNNYVALE, Calif. Moving to increase the visibility of its caching appliances, CacheFlow Inc. this week signed a reseller pact with Akamai Technologies Inc. (Boston), a developer of distributed Internet content delivery systems.
Stu Aaron, vice president of business development at CacheFlow, said his company will develop a special software shim for its CacheOS operating system that will allow Akamai's reverse-proxy to be deployed as a front-end to local content servers. Akamai will sell CacheFlow's caching appliances directly to its customer base.
Akamai has partnered with key OEMs, including Cisco Systems Inc., to develop effective distributed delivery systems for streaming content. But the reseller agreement with CacheFlow is Akamai's first such deal with a localized caching specialist.
Some 60 percent of CacheFlow's product is sold into service providers, Aaron said, and Akamai represents a new type of specialized service provider focused on distributed content delivery, he said.
Akamai is a member of CacheFlow's Adaptive Content Exchange (ACE) initiative, a forum that was launched June 21 to promote the use of distributed content through intelligent cache management at the edge of public networks. The CacheFlow/Akamai model is in some ways a mirror image of Inktomi Corp.'s deals with Digital Island Inc., Sandpiper Networks Inc. and Sun Microsystems Inc. The Inktomi/Digital Island network assumes a centralized network operations center for handling cached content, Aaron said, while the ACE coalition assumes intelligence driven as far into the network as possible.
"The differences in the two models are analogous to the earlier debate over centralized vs. distributed routing," Aaron said.
Aaron called the pact the most significant reseller deal in CacheFlow's history.