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HP enters Net race with Xcelera stake

Hewlett-Packard will invest $32 million in Xcelera.com to provide high-speed Internet content delivery services.

Hewlett-Packard today said it will invest $32 million in Xcelera.com to provide high-speed Internet content delivery services.

Under the agreement, Mirror Image, a subsidiary of Xcelera that invests in Internet companies, will use HP servers and storage systems on its network, the companies said in a statement.

In turn, HP said it intends to use Mirror Image's services within the company.

Mirror Image, which competes against Akamai Technologies, provides high-bandwidth caching capabilities to customers to hurry the transmission of Web applications and Internet content delivery.

The announcement comes amid a flurry of partnership agreements recently made in the market for Net content delivery services. Akamai today announced an alliance with cable online service provider Road Runner to improve Internet content delivery to Road Runner broadband subscribers.

Last week, Akamai announced a similar partnership with Internet venture firm CMGI to jointly develop and sell applications to speed Internet content delivery services. Several CMGI companies are working with Akamai to develop these applications.

Under today's deal, Mirror Image said it also plans to integrate HP's e-speak software technology into its network products, exploring ways to make content delivery part of a broader services plan. HP's e-speak is a way of automating business transactions on the Internet and is part of HP's "e-services" initiative.