Build or buy?

Organizations determined to boost dynamic content delivery can build their own application delivery network (ADN) or buy one as a service.

Agency information technology managers concerned with service providers' viability may opt to build. The perception that in-house control of content translates into greater security may also tip the scales toward building.

On the other hand, organizations with global reach may find it expensive and impractical to build and staff an ADN. For those groups, subscribing to a service may make more sense. A service also takes the guesswork out of provisioning network resources.

How do the alternatives stack up in terms of cost? WARP Solutions Inc. offers two approaches for ADN builders. Its SpiderCache software can be installed on Microsoft Corp. Internet Information Services or Apache Software Foundation Web servers. The software runs $15,000 to $20,000 for the origin server and $7,500 per node for each branch office.

WARP also offers an edge server appliance, which includes the hardware and software. The 2063e appliance costs $30,000 to $50,000 for the origin server — depending on the configuration — and $10,000 per node for each branch office.

Greg Parker, the company's chief technology officer, said customers deploying the technology typically see performance gains of 15 percent to 20 percent with three times as many concurrent users served.

Customers can also get at WARP's technology through Mirror Image Internet Inc.'s instaContent dynamic content delivery service, which uses WARP's 2063e appliances. Midsize to large customers pay between $1,000 and $2,000 per terabyte per month, depending on the level of performance selected, according to Jeffrey Schutzman, director of strategic accounts and partner development at Mirror Image.

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