Monday, October 01, 2007

BitGravity's New CDN Threatens Akamai and Limelight

"After months in stealth mode gathering marquee customers, BitGravity officially launched its content delivery network. BitGravity co-founder and CEO Perry Wu claims that his CDN delivers superior service to the incumbents, notably Akamai and Limelight. Companies such as YouTube, Sling Media, Revision 3, Getty Images and the BBC have already signed on as BitGravity customers.
According to Wu, the incumbent networks were designed to handle content like text and photos, while BitGravity was designed from the ground up to handle rich media content. Adding more servers, memory or more datacenters won’t give competitors what they need to compete with BitGravity, he said.
Whatever the case, Akamai and Limelight are facing increasing competition (see Forbes story), and not just from BitGravity.
BitGravity’s platform has been architected for the HD video generation, Wu told me. “We started with a clean sheet of paper,” Wu said. “As we enter this second phase [of content delivery], the [incumbents] won’t stack up with applications that wrap content around interactive experiences and multiple video screens.” He cited the National Football League, Major League Baseball and MTV as developing more immersive, granular and bandwidth intensive applications.
BitGravity’s secret sauce is n its patent pending Bitcast technology, Wu said, including multicast overlay optimization, file replication, real-time video and watermaking. The company is using custom-built hardware, costing between $50,000 and $100,000, and is optimizing a customized BSD Unix kernel to improving the efficiency of moving data from its systems to the “wire,” Wu said."

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