Web Caching

Proxy Cache Comparison

An initial version of the following table was offered to me, and while I am updating and adding to it periodically (based primarily on vendor-provided information), I can make no claims on accuracy of the information it contains -- please verify the specifics with the product vendor directly. In particular, note that hit rates and requests per second can have varying definitions and will also vary with different client loads.

      -- Brian


  InfoLibria CacheFlow Network Appliance Cisco Inktomi Cobalt Networks Volera (a Novell spin-off)
  DynaCache 10, 20, 30, 40 CA-600, CA-6000, SA-700, SA-7000 product lines NetCache Cache Engine Traffic Server Cobalt Qube Excelerator (formerly known as Internet Caching Services and OEMed by multiple vendors)
Vendor Web Site www.infolibria.com www.cacheflow.com www.netapp.com www.cisco.com www.inktomi.com www.cobaltnet.com http://www.volera.com/
Number of Models 4 (+ inline versions) 4 product lines 5 1 2 1 12+
Target Market Regional/National ISPs/ASPs, Satellite/Wireless Providers, Enterprises "Fortune 1000 Enterprises" & Mid to Large ISPs Tier One Service Providers, Enterprise, Satellite, CDNs, Broadband Providers National backbone and regional ISPs, large enterprises Tier One Providers Everyone Small, mid, & carrier ISPs; Small business, Enterprises and WANs.
Market Pitch Reliable, carrier-grade caching and content management True appliances tuned for client caching or server acceleration. Established network filing system bundled with established web caching software Integration with network router Performance, scalability, fault tolerance, managability, partner solutions, platform for value added services Ease of installation, low price, good price/performance, transparency out of the box Highest Performance per U, reliable appliance with content management
System Focus Appliance (Hardware & Software) Appliance (Hardware & Software) File System Software Hardware Software Appliance Appliance
Operating System Proprietary Proprietary Proprietary, Network Appliance File System Web Cache Control Protocol -- Proprietary Solaris, Linux, Win2k, HP-UX, UNIX, IRIX Linux Proprietary
Ease of Installation Plug-N-Play Plug-N-Play Plug-N-Play for explicit proxy mode, otherwise needs policy routing or layer 4 switch configuration Significant Router & Cache Engine Reconfiguration Requires Inktomi Representative Plug-N-Play Plug-N-Play
Sys. Admin. On Browser? Y Y Y Y Y Y Y
Content Pre-loading Y (option) Y N N Y N Y
Content Tracking Updates Beyond If-Modified-Since Y Y N N Y N Y
Cache more than HTTP? Y Y Y N Y Y (In Non-transp mode) Y
Ability to run Transparent & Non-trans Y Y Y Y Y Y Y
Stated hit rate 40-60% Up to 75% 30-50% 30-35% 55% 40-60% Up to 75%
Hit Notification to Content Provider Y Y N N Y - logging agents that report back what has been served N Pending
Scalability High High High High High High (w/ L4 switch) High
Fault Tolerance Program Failsafe Hardware Redundant Hardware Redundant Hardware, failover pair configuration or via L4 swith Redundant Hardware Clustering support for system failover Clustering; also can use L4 Switch Redundant Hardware
Requests per second 200-800 Thousands 470 for C720, 700 for C760 Unknown Hardware dependent Unstated Thousands
Partnerships Alteon, Foundry, Microsoft, Nortel Alteon, Foundry, F5, RadWare, Akamai, Exodus, Real Alteon Mirror Image, Microsoft, Alteon Sun Microsystems, Compaq, Intel, Foundry Networks, Real Networks, DIGEX, 3Com, HP, Alteon None Alteon, Foundry, Arrowpoint, Mirror Image, Akamai, Digital Island, Global Center, others
Additional Equipment Needed None; Layer 4 or WCCP router for transparency None for policy-based routing; Layer 4 switch for transparency None for policy-based routing; Layer 4 switch for transparency 7000 class Cisco router Layer 4 switch or WCCP router for transparency None None; Layer 4 or WCCP router for transparency
Price Range $9,995-$66,350 $4,495-112,995 Starts at $16,550, & $65,720 $15,000 base $24,000 per CPU $1899 $1,000-$99,000

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Last modified: Sat Feb 9 13:40:20 EST 2008
Comments, corrections, and suggestions gratefully accepted.