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Caching Services

There are now dozens of companies willing to mirror your web content at geographically scattered sites. The most popular seem to be Akamai and Inktomi, but there are also ANS (http://www.ans.net/), owned by AOL; Exodus Communications; GlobalCenter (http://www.isi.net/), which bought ISI; GTE/BBN; InterNex; MCI; and Sandpiper.

Mirroring services and products can save you telecommunications costs because users are closer to content, especially if you are currently running an extranet with dedicated long-distance links. Note that mirroring is also a good way of getting fault tolerance if the system is set up to reroute requests when a server is down. Software to manage the mirroring (that is, to choose the best server for a given request and to ensure that data is replicated quickly and correctly across the servers) is still immature.


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