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Novell to target software services to Web hosts

The network software maker is tapping the lucrative market of helping Web hosting companies speed the delivery of Web pages.

Hoping to reinvigorate its push into new business sectors, network software maker Novell today announced plans to deliver technology that will be sold as a service, allowing companies that host Internet sites to speed the delivery of Web pages.

Novell is targeting the lucrative market for software services that Web hosting companies can use to entice more customers. Web hosting firms, such as Exodus, AboveNet and GlobalCenter, house the content found on Web sites and provide other services for dot-com companies that do not want to handle their computer needs in-house.

The technology, based on Novell's current Internet Caching System (ICS) software, is intended to serve as the unifying mechanism between Internet and local Web content distribution schemes, such as those offered by Akamai Technologies and Digital Island. One feature of the new system is that Novell will morph addresses tailored for Akamai's technology on the fly, according to executives.

The Novell Content Exchange accelerates the delivery of content from a Web server to the Internet, according to the company.

The new technology, scheduled to be available this fall, is part of Novell's effort to restructure itself. The effort continues amid more troubled fiscal times at Novell, previously thought to be on the comeback trail.

Novell, which is based in Provo, Utah, will throw its hat into the ring of companies increasingly offering their technology as a subscription service, rather than as a packaged product. Novell will sell its latest technology based on bandwidth consumption, company executives said.

Web hosting company GlobalCenter, part of telecommunications company Global Crossing, plans to be the first to offer Novell Content Exchange technology to its customers.

"All the dot-coms are trying to outsource as much of their Web site management as possible," said Bill Mann, who is the "chief technology evangelist" for Novell.