ALTEREGO NETWORKS NEW PRODUCT SUITE OUTLINES INNOVATIVE STRATEGY FOR ENABLING PERVASIVE INTERNET COMPUTING
Innovative Software Suite Establishes New Criteria for Evaluating Effectiveness of Infrastructure Aimed at Delivering Web Content and Applications to Any PlatformREDWOOD CITY, Calif. January 30, 2001AlterEgo Networks Inc. today unveiled the AlterEgo Adaptive Performance Suite(TM), new software for helping enterprise users, partners and customers gain access to Internet content and applications from any location or platform. Underlying the new product suite is an innovative implementation roadmap that may be the key to helping companies overcome the technical hurdles of so called mobile, or pervasive Internet computing, and in the process unlocking its many potential benefits for accelerating employee productivity and generating new revenue streams.
AlterEgo calls its brand of pervasive computing the Adaptive Internet, characterized by the ability to enable pervasive access to any application or content via a broad range of device types over both wired and wireless connections and a wide variety of network bandwidths. Enterprises today considering building an infrastructure for the Adaptive Internet will encounter a host of limited or incomplete solutions that provide only short-term results. In contrast to these options, AlterEgo has defined a complete, strategic approach to building the Adaptive Internet, taking into consideration the complex needs of global enterprises.
Failing to Address Enterprise Requirements
Support for wireless access to IT systems clearly demonstrates the challenges of network computing: maintaining multiple mutating devices, unstable and mixed-media content, and multiple networks. Early attempts to build applications for specific content, devices and networks are doomed.
Simon Hayward, Research Director, Gartner Research Note, October, 2000.
As with any new market, the wireless sector has been characterized by a considerable amount of hype over the last year. As businesses rushed to market with solutions for wireless enablement, many critical elements were overlooked. Most wireless implementations, for example, fail to consider that all enterprise environments will continue to be heterogeneous, needing to support both wired and wireless users. The move to wireless data access will be evolutionary, but a considerable majority of information will still be delivered over a variety of different wired connections (LAN, WAN, VPN, DSL, Hotel Dial-up, Cable Modem, etc). Any effective pervasive or mobile Internet solution for an enterprise would clearly consider the specific needs of all users, including those on a wired connection.
For the market to transform even a portion of this hype into reality, a new approach to the market must be taken. AlterEgo believes it is taking an important first step with the acknowledgement of several critical elements.
Phased Deployment is Likely -- Enterprises typically deploy new technology in stages, expanding each installation over time to broader divisions, departments and regions, before launching an enterprise-wide purchase. The distributed nature of businesses and the IT organizations implementing the technology requires technology to be deployed as a gradual migration.
Tactical Deployments Breed Complexity -- Solutions that take a tactical approach or merely address single line of business needs create a chaotic infrastructure and complex management situation. Overlapping networking schemes, duplication of back-end integration and multiple single-use platforms risk threatening performance and heightening costs associated with maintenance and support.
Open Platforms Only -- The Adaptive Internet will create a new set of infrastructure requirements. However, to be truly adaptive, these new components must seamlessly integrate with existing infrastructures and support best-of-breed enterprise technologies and products. Enterprises must address the challenges of content proliferation, device heterogeneity, network performance and integration complexity before they can launch a true Adaptive Enterprise.
In recognition of these enterprise requirements, AlterEgo has architected the AlterEgo Adaptive Performance Suite(TM). A thoughtful and effective means of building an adaptive enterprise, the AlterEgo Adaptive Performance Suite contains the adaptation products and services to handle virtually any volume of content for even the largest enterprises. But the AlterEgo Adaptive Performance Suite also makes it easy for any enterprise to plan a gradual migration into adaptive Internet computing, by adding products over time to address changing requirements.
AlterEgos core technology has been architected with a clear strategic vision for how enterprises will need to grow and expand as the Adaptive Internet market grows, explained Dr. Saurav Chatterjee, Chief Scientist, AlterEgo Networks. When we developed this technology, we knew we needed to be flexible to meet the complex demands of businesses: wired and wireless, singular implementations and clusters of technology, with the power to expand its capabilities for future technologies.
AlterEgo Adaptive Performance Suite currently contains four distinct products:
AlterEgo Content Adaptation Server(TM) -- AlterEgo Content Adaptation Server (CAS) provides a robust and dynamic platform for taking disparate content and application formats within an enterprise and creating a standardized presentation or data format in HTML or XML. AlterEgo CAS is a first step in building an adaptive environment, moving enterprises to a consistent data format that minimizes applications management and provides a unified experience for PC users.
AlterEgo Mobile Web Server(TM) -- AlterEgo Mobile Web Server (MWS) provides a robust, scalable and secure infrastructure solution that enables enterprises, content providers, and carriers/ISPs to extend their existing web infrastructures to the mobile Internet. With MWS, companies can easily extend their access to mission-critical information and services from any mobile device today and in the future. AlterEgo Mobile Web Server includes proprietary device detection functionality to determine the capabilities and constraints of each target device, ensuring that the right content is delivered to the right device, perfectly optimized every time. An extensive set of mobile device modules long URL management, page and forms management, cookie management and session management serve to further fine-tune the delivery of information specific for mobile and wireless devices.
AlterEgo Adaptive Portal Server(TM) -- AlterEgo Adaptive Portal Server allows users of either AlterEgo CAS or AlterEgo MWS to provide services such as alerts, messaging, and e-mail/calendar access personalized for each user and each user device type. For example, a given user might see one set of data and content rendered a specific way when accessing the information from a PDA, and a different set of content when accessing the information from a cell phone. Data delivery can also be tailored based on bandwidth. Personalization capabilities also enable the delivery of unique information and interfaces to users based on corporate guidelines and on users individual specifications.
AlterEgo Adaptive Hub(TM) -- A cornerstone of the AlterEgo Adaptive Performance Suite, AlterEgo Adaptive Hub enables businesses to integrate disparate deployments of AlterEgo Mobile Web Server and AlterEgo Content Adaptation Server within the enterprise into an integrated, and managed distributed adaptive network, offering the highest levels of performance, reliability, availability and scalability possible. AlterEgo Adaptive Hub is the only product capable of networking together distinct deployments of adaptive technology and enables organizations to eliminate latency from the process of adapting, routing and delivering information.
More detailed technical information on the AlterEgo Adaptive Performance Suite can be found by visiting AlterEgo Networks main web site at httyp://www.aego.com.
Adaptive Performance(TM): A New Metric for the Adaptive Internet
With the introduction of new technologies that help to enable the pervasive Adaptive Internet, AlterEgo believes that global businesses must begin to examine their infrastructure performance levels based on a new set of metrics. Just as the growth of the Internet necessitated an evaluation based on e-business capabilities, so too must enterprises look to their ability to achieve Adaptive Performance(TM) as they look to address the next generation of the Internet.
In defining their criteria for Adaptive Application Architecture and effective mobile Internet applications, leading Gartner analysts Bob Egan and Ken Dulaney recommend technologies that enable dynamic filtering, low-latency, and a high degree of interaction and personalization.
In order for the mobile Internet to succeed, vendors must begin to address the critical issues of network latency and mobile application design, said Bob Egan, vice president and research director, Gartner research Both of these issues directly impact the ability to deliver a quality user experience.
In support of these criteria, AlterEgo believes the key to building an adaptive infrastructure that can scale to handle wide-ranging application and device requirements is one that delivers Adaptive Performance, which delivers the following capabilities:
Scalability -- An adaptive infrastructure must be capable of scaling quickly to take on more content, more applications, or more users. Often, these may happen at the same time, because the pervasive Internet, along with the many devices that populate it, forms a highly dynamic environment.
Modular architecture -- A modular architecture pays dividends in scalability, but it also means enterprises can start with a modest adaptive infrastructure installation, and then grow according to their ideal adaptive business model requirements, as the content adaptation requirements of the enterprise increases.
Per-device and per-bandwidth personalization -- The adaptive enterprise should be able to serve content in the format and by the performance mode that best personalizes the user experience on each specific device.
Content customization -- Likewise, content should be customizable for each device or application. For instance, content-adaptation rules might be present that would add intelligence to the adaptation process, lowering the size, and optimizing the quality of content served to bandwidth and screen-size constrained devices, and serving higher-quality content to higher-capacity devices.
Bandwidth detection -- Additional intelligence should be present that can detect the requesting devices bandwidth capabilities: a PDA communicating via a 128Kbps ADSL link would be served content optimized for a lower network connection speed than, say, a laptop with a 10 Mbps VDSL link high-speed connection, which can better handle bandwidth-intensive images and applications.
Image transformation -- This would add the capability of adjusting the resolution of images according to the screen-size, and bandwidth capabilities, and the pre-set rules, of a given application and device.
Run-time, adaptive performance engine -- The basic adaptation process involves converting one format, HTML, for instance, to another, say WML, by means of an intermediate step. With the AlterEgo Adaptive Performance Suite, that step involves moving the content through pre-written XSL (eXtensible Stylesheet Language) templates. To avoid wasted, redundant conversions, the conversion should take place only as the content is requested, and it should happen at ultra-high speed, so that the conversion will be transparent to the requesting user.
Intelligent cache management -- Additional performance enhancement comes from the adaptive infrastructures ability to employ intelligent cache management technologies, which intelligently instructs 3rd party caching servers, such as the Apache Proxy Server and the Inktomi Traffic Server from Inktomi Corporation, as to what kinds of images and adapted content should be cached at the outer edges of the corporate network. These are systems that use advanced algorithms to store frequently used content at staging areas that are as close to the user as possible.
Distributed adaptation -- This is an additional level of sophistication that permits content adaptation to take place at the network node closest to the content server. Since adaptation typically produces a slimmed-down version of the original content, the resulting file is smaller, and can travel more quickly to its destination. This technology greatly reduces the latency inherent in the overall content adaptation process, and drastically improves the overall performance of the adaptive enterprise.
Integration with industry-standard technologies -- Finally, the infrastructure should fit within the existing enterprise infrastructure as cleanly as possible, tying into web application servers and back-office applications easily. This way, the new infrastructure will maximize existing investments in industry-standard infrastructure technologies such as J2EE, COM, CORBA, HTML and XML.
Distributed Adaptation for Unparalleled Performance
While the challenges related to todays Adaptive Internet transition may seem great, it will pale in comparison to the demands that will be placed upon the enterprise as volumes of users increase, and complexity in heterogeneous devices and network connections multiply.
This new demand will put significant pressure on enterprise adaptive resources. The need to maintain multiple, isolated deployments of adaptive technology, dispersed across multiple divisions and geographies will quickly become unrealistic. The performance advantages of having a distributed adaptive network deployed within the enterprise will be clear, enabling enterprises to respond to fast changes in applications, device types and user needs. And with a distributed adaptive architecture -- one that can perform intelligent nearest-node distributed adaptation -- the enterprise will be assured of sufficient performance and capacity scalability to tackle the most challenging demands.
With the full AlterEgo Adaptive Performance Suite in place, enterprises can establish a distributed adaptive network that can readily handle current and future demands for additional users, applications, content or device types.
About AlterEgo Networks
AlterEgo Networks provides enterprise software and services that accelerate the productivity of employees, partners and customers by enabling scalable dynamic access to Web content and applications whenever and wherever its needed. The companys Adaptive Performance Suite(TM) of products provides a framework for enabling pervasive access to the Internet, integrating with existing IT infrastructure products and technologies. The scalable AlterEgo Adaptive Performance Suite platform dynamically adapts and delivers content customized for any mobile device or desktop platform and highly personalized for each users requirements. With headquarters in Redwood City, Calif., and London England, AlterEgo maintains partnerships with Interwoven, Macromedia, Inktomi, Aether Systems and SRI International. Select customers include USA Today.com, E*TRADEs ClearStation, ConsumerReview.com, Ask Jeeves, and Highwire. For more information, please visit our Web site at http://www.aego.com or call 1-866-ALTEREGO.
AlterEgo Networks, AlterEgo Mobile Web Server, AlterEgo Content Adaptation Server, AlterEgo Adaptive Portal Server, AlterEgo Adaptive Hub, AlterEgo Designer, AlterEgo Adaptive Network Service and The Adaptive Network are all trademarks of AlterEgo, Inc. All other company and product names are the trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective holders.