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BT-spin off offers 400% network performance supercharge

Content distribution pumped up

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A BT-backed firm aims to tackle network performance problems with a different approach to content distribution.

Venation, spun off from BT as an independent company in February this year (with £7m backing from Softbank Europe Ventures), offers a hardware platform which claims to offer up to a 400 per cent improvement in network performance.

The technology, which is on trial with blue chip companies in the UK, offers an alternative to buying extra bandwidth in order to solve problems created by congested networks.

Ralph Cochrane, chief executive of Venation, said its products went beyond the narrow scope offered by "point" solutions which tackle only Web caching or software distribution. Venation's technology also handles database and video traffic.

So what's so special about Venation, we asked, which Cochrane told us "it's the Kryptonite of the networking world", making us glad networks weren't built by Supermen.

Venation said its patent-protected technology is the first to offer optimised content distribution at network infrastructure level - which it said is different in scope and impact to compression technology, or web acceleration tools.

This technology is built into servers (the V1000, V3000 and V9000) which are deployed at network "hot spots" to create a transport layer that overlays an organisation's routing infrastructure and avoids latency or duplication in distributing content.

Venation expects most demand will come from businesses looking to use a series of servers equipped with their software distribution, web cache acceleration, media streaming, and database replication adapters.

As well as tackling content distribution problems in the enterprise, Venation believes its technologies can address the problems of pumping high bandwidth content, such as video streaming, around satellite and mobile networks. It has partnered with Hewlett-Packard and BTignite in this space. ®

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