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Inktomi strikes deals for caching

Inktomi, which some analysts see as a hot IPO candidate, strikes deals with three companies to deploy its network caching product.

Inktomi said today that it has struck deals with three companies--Digex, Nippon Telegraph and Telephone, and Knology Holdings--to deploy its network caching product.

The deal illustrates the momentum of privately held Inktomi, which some analysts see as a hot IPO candidate. The company declined comment on its prospects for going public.

Last October, Inktomi announced a licensing deal with Microsoft to build search capabilities into the Microsoft Network. That same month, it received a minority investment from Intel and launched "traffic server," a caching product designed to end the "World Wide Wait," as executives put it. Then in January, the company added Seagate chief executive Alan Shugart to its board.

Inktomi said its deal with Digex marks one of the "first large-scale purchases of a commercial network caching product in the United States."

The company's "traffic server" product is designed to operate in Net backbones and ISP systems. It faces stiff competition from other caching products, however. UUNet also is testing a traffic server product, as is NTT.