IBM and Network Appliance, Inc., announced an expanded agreement to provide enterprises and service providers with interoperable, cost-effective, plug-and-play content delivery network (CDN) solutions. The agreement builds on previous alliances between the two companies and combines IBM's middleware, servers and services with Network Appliance content delivery appliances and software, establishing a CDN reference architecture that simplifies the creation, management, archiving and delivery of all types of digital content.

The reference architecture is based on integration and interoperability testing to ensure ease of deployment and operation. The solutions can be used for business applications such as enterprise intranet portals, streaming media applications, acceleration of business applications including ERP/CRM and consumer pay-per-view services.

"This partnership affirms IBM's commitment to content delivery and streaming media technologies. Projects like enterprise communications, corporate training, distance learning and document dissemination can all benefit from a solid, interoperable content delivery platform," said Scott Burnett, marketing director, IBM Digital Media. "This blueprint expands on IBM's Digital Media Factory Framework and delivers solid, easy-to-use content delivery solutions, supporting a wide variety of digital media business models."

The IBM and Network Appliance reference architecture will enable users to distribute and store content on NetApp NetCache appliances at the edge of the network to accelerate access to digital media assets by employees, partners and customers. The system is designed to handle HTML and XML Web content, documents and images in any digital form and the most popular IP-based streaming media formats, including MPEG4.

"With the reference architecture in place, customers now have an integrated and tested solution that they have been demanding," said Amit Pandey, senior director, content delivery at Network Appliance. "Network Appliance and IBM have taken an important step together to accelerate the adoption of media technologies by creating and delivering fully integrated solutions that greatly simplify the deployment process."

The solution will be sold and supported by experts from both IBM Digital Media and IBM Global Services' Content Networking Services Group, as well as Network Appliance. The reference architecture is based on IBM xSeries Servers, IBM WebSphere, IBM ContentManager and IBM services, coupled with Network Appliance NetCache content delivery appliances and management software, including ContentDirector and DataFabric Manager.

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