News Release

Cisco, Cable & Wireless, Digital Island, Genuity, GlobalCenter, Mirror Image Internet, NaviSite, Network Appliance, PSINet, and ServInt form Content Alliance

Standards-Based Group to Accelerate Adoption of Content Delivery Networks
Aug 28, 2000

SAN JOSE, Calif., August. 28, 2000 - Cisco Systems, Inc., the worldwide leader in networking for the Internet, announced the formation of the Content Alliance to accelerate the market evolution of content delivery services. Leading service providers, including Cable & Wireless, Digital Island, Genuity, GlobalCenter, Mirror Image Internet, NaviSite, PSINet and ServInt and leading technology vendor Network Appliance have joined as charter members of the Content Alliance to speed the adoption of compatible Content Delivery Networks (CDN) technology throughout the industry.

The Content Alliance will develop open standards and protocols to advance content networking and deliver key technologies for a number of emerging areas, including content peering. A critical technology for the widespread adoption of content delivery services, content peering enables the content delivery networks of multiple service providers to work in cooperation. Given the collection of independent networks that form the Internet, content peering allows CDNs to interoperate, ensuring fast performance by delivering Web content from devices located close to the viewing audience. With content peering, a Web site owner can work with their preferred hosting service provider, but gain the reach of the combined peered networks.

"Content Peering is an essential next step in order for these providers to work together to offer a greater Content Delivery Network footprint," says Greg Howard, principal analyst at The HTRC Group, LLC. "Interoperability will play a key role for successful content peering."

The Content Alliance will define a specification for peering needs such as authorizing the use of content between networks, and for sharing logging or billing information for charge settlement. The Content Alliance will test and endorse a content peering standard among its members and will submit the draft standard to the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) later this year.

"Cisco and the Content Alliance are taking a two-pronged approach to deploy highly profitable content delivery services. By working with key service provider customers and leading technology providers, we are ensuring the adoption of CDN services is as smooth and rapid as possible," said Krish Ramakrishnan, vice president and general manager at Cisco. "Content Peering is a natural evolution of CDNs. Just as ISPs peer their networks today to share bandwidth and improve end-to-end performance, so will CDNs be peered in the future."

Cisco's CDN system, also announced today [See separate press release: Cisco Delivers Complete System for Content Delivery Networks and Next Generation Content Based Services], enables service providers to deliver new content-based services while maintaining availability, security and minimizing response times. This system is comprised of five technology areas; Content Distribution and Management, Content Routing, Content Edge Delivery, Content Switching, and Intelligent Network Services. The service provider Content Alliance charter members will participate in an upcoming CDN field trial, which will enable the deployment and rollout of next-generation content networking services.