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!

Contents

History

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. In November 1999 Inktomi acquired Webspective; in August 2000 Inktomi acquired Ultraseek Server from Disney's Go.com; 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.

In earlier acquisitions Inktomi acquired C2B and Impulse Buy Networks, both companies which had pioneered the comparison shopping space and that had pioneered the performance based marketing market. With over 4 million products registered in the service in 1998, and serving millions of merchandise product offers daily across 20,000 websites including Yahoo!, MSN, and AOL shopping. Merchants paid a percentage of sales and or a cost per click for traffic sent to their websites, ultimately this model became known as pay per click and was perfected by Google and Overture Services, Inc..

With the financial collapse of the service provider industry and overall burst of the dot-com bubble, Inktomi lost most of its customer base and ultimately was acquired by Yahoo! in 2002 for $1.63 a share (or $235 million). In a separate transaction, the Ultraseek Server product (renamed Inktomi Enterprise Search) was sold to competitor Verity, Inc. in late 2002.

In 2006, the technology behind the Inktomi Proxy Server was acquired by Websense, which has modified it and included it their Websense Security Gateway solution.

It has been proposed to create an Apache top level project to Open Source the existing Yahoo! Traffic Server code. http://wiki.apache.org/incubator/TrafficServerProposal

Acquisitions

In September 1998 Inktomi acquired C2B Technologies [3], adding a shopping engine technology to its portfolio; ; In April 1999 Inktomi acquired Impulse Buy Network, adding 400 merchants to its shopping engine and performance based business shopping model. http://news.cnet.com/Inktomi-buys-Impulse-Buy/2100-1017_3-224817.html ; in November 1999 Inktomi acquired Webspective; in August 2000 Inktomi acquired Ultraseek Server from Disney's Go.com; 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.

Inktomi name and logo

According to the Inktomi website, "The company's name, pronounced 'INK-tuh-me', is derived from a Lakota Indian legend about a trickster spider character. Iktomi is known for his ability to defeat larger adversaries through wit and cunning."[4] The tri-color, nested cube logo was created by Tom Lamar in 1996.

Executives

Prior to the acquisition of Inktomi by Yahoo! in 2002:

Corporate officers

  • David C. Peterschmidt – Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer
  • Dr. Eric A. Brewer – Chief Scientist
  • Timothy J. Burch – Vice President of Human Resources
  • Ted Hally – Senior Vice President and General Manager of Network Products
  • Jerry M. Kennelly – Executive Vice President, Chief Financial Officer and Secretary
  • Al Shipp – Senior Vice President of Worldwide Field Operations
  • Timothy Stevens – Senior Vice President of Business Affairs, General Counsel and Assistant Secretary
  • Steve Hill – Vice President of Europe

Board of directors

  • David C. Peterschmidt – Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer, Inktomi Corporation
  • Dr. Eric A. Brewer – Chief Scientist, Inktomi Corporation
  • Frank Gill Retired – Executive Vice President, Intel Corporation
  • Fredric W. Harman – General Partner, Oak Investment Partners
  • Alan Shugart – Chief Executive Officer, Al Shugart International

Mission statement

"The Inktomi mission is to build scalable software applications that are core to the Internet infrastructure."[4]

See also

References

  1. SIMS 141: Search Engines: Technology, Society, and Business. Course Syllabus, Fall 2005.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Inktomi to buy FastForward Networks for $1.3 billion. CNET news.com, September 13, 2000.
  3. Inktomi to buy C2B. CNET"
  4. 4.0 4.1 Inktomi website, April 28, 1999.
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