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Netli, Linux Take Web to Warp Speeds - page 5

The Joys of Sublight

  • July 7, 2003
  • By Brian Proffitt

What makes this system work from a commercial standpoint is the fact that once you start working with Netli, there's no capital outlay, and theres's very little that has to be done to your Web servers to make it run with Netli's service. Remember, all of the packets coming in and out of the Web server are TCP/IP. No new machines, no new software--just a pay as you go service.

What makes this system work from a technical standpoint, Grove explained, is Netli's 100% use of Linux for all of its transmission servers.

When the company was first conceptualized, Netli looked at many different operating systems to house its transmission and translation software. Grove listed Solaris, various embedded operating systems, and BSD as some of the alternatives they considered. What ultimately pulled them to use Linux was complete access to the source.

Grove said that early on this was a real advantage, as the company dealt with problems with Web proxies and scaability. But, Grove explained, the Netli developers built their own kernel patch and solved the problem relatively painlessly.

Linux's protocol stacks were another big draw. "The TCP/IP stack in Linux 2.4 had the advantages and innovation over other stacks," Grove said.

Linux, he added, was very customtizable and very minimlaist in its structure, so Netli could do exactly what they needed with it.

Netli's service is offering real speed and real savings for its customers already. Neilsen's NetRatings service, which was using database replication to overcome transmission slowdowns, is estimated to be saving $5 million a year using Netli's service.

Netli seems to have found an elegant solution to a Gordian Knot of a problem, with Linux's help along the way.

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