Inktomi Corporation

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Inktomi Corporation was a California company that provided software for Internet service providers. It was founded in 1996 by UC Berkeley professor Eric Brewer and graduate student Paul Gauthier. The company was initially founded based on the real-world success of the search engine they developed at the university. After the bursting of the dot-com bubble, Inktomi was acquired by Yahoo!



Inktomi's software was incorporated in the widely-used HotBot search engine, which displaced AltaVista as the leading web-crawler-based search engine, and which was in turn displaced by Google. In a talk given to a UC Berkeley seminar on Search Engines[1] in October 2005, Eric Brewer credited much of the AltaVista displacement to technical differences of scale.

The company went on to develop Traffic Server, a proxy cache for web traffic and on-demand streaming media. Traffic Server found a limited marketplace due to several factors, but was deployed by several large service providers including AOL. One of the things that Traffic Server did was to transcode images down to a smaller size for AOL dialup users, leading many websites to provide special noncacheable pages with the phrase, "AOL Users Click Here" to navigate to these pages.

In November 1999 Inktomi acquired Webspective; in August 2000 Inktomi acquired Ultraseek Server from Disney's; in September, 2000, Inktomi acquired FastForward Networks[2]; in December 2000, Inktomi acquired the Content Bridge Business Unit from Adero, a content delivery network, which had formed the Content Bridge Alliance with Inktomi, AOL and a number of other ISPs, hosting providers and IP transport providers; and in June 2001 Inktomi acquired eScene Networks. Webspective developed technology for synchronizing and managing content across a host of distributed servers to be used in clustered or distributed load-balancing. Fast Forward developed software for the distribution of live streaming media over the Internet using "app-level" multicast technology. eScene Networks developed software that provided an integrated workflow for the management and publishing of video content (now owned by Media Publisher, Inc.). With this combination of technologies, Inktomi became an "arms merchant" to a growing number of content delivery network (CDN) service providers. Inktomi stock peaked with a split-adjusted price of $241 a share in March 2000.

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