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Beating the Net traffic jam

GlobalCenter next week will announce a new architecture aimed at helping large sites deliver data quickly and efficiently to Netizens, wherever they are.

    GlobalCenter, a Silicon Valley company, next week will announce a new architecture aimed at helping large sites deliver data quickly and efficiently to Netizens, wherever they are.

    GlobalCenter calls it "Digital Distribution," a system of hardware and software that takes data from sites and delivers them to Netizens, hopefully bypassing frustrating traffic jams and busy sites.

    Analysts say that GlobalCenter is part of a burgeoning industry growing out of a need for content sites to get their information out across an increasingly crowded network. The businesses will become even more important as sites continue to add high-bandwidth applications, such as music and video, to their sites.

    "It's an emerging business, so it's a neck-and-neck race," said David Cooperstein, an analyst with Forrester Research."They're the most innovative of the group that fits into this category.

    GlobalCenter has more than 10,000 corporate customers, including sites like Yahoo, Netscape, Playboy, At Hand, and Quote.Com, according to GlobalCenter chairman and chief executive officer Doug Hickey.

    The content for those sites is delivered to GlobalCenter, which in turn distributes it throughout its own network of "data wherehouses" throughout the world. The company, which has peering agreements with all the public exchange points (as well many private agreements), is able to use its hardware and software to route the individual Netizen to GlobalCenter's sites in the most efficient way possible, Hickey said

    "What we've been doing is really going out and working with major content players in the Internet space," Hickey said. "Yahoo, Netscape--the challenge they're facing is how do I ensure this feature-rich content I've developed can get into the hands of the end user.

    "We're putting the content where the end user happens to be and building software that takes away the mystery from the end user. We point the end user to the most logical site."

    "As far as GlobalCenter's concerned, bottlenecks are going to move all over the place," said Barbara Ells, an analyst with Zona Research. "They've found a solution for large content providers or for organizations anticipating a one-time hit. They've got a real good plan in place."