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Home > Learn More > Tech > Tech Page 2 > The History Of Inktomi

The History Of Inktomi

Inktomi Corporation is based in California.  Founded in 1996, the company originally provided software for internet service providers.  A professor at UC Berkeley, Eric Brewer, and a grad student, Paul Gauthier, were the founders. The company was originally founded based on the  success of the search engine they came up with at the university.

Inktomi’s software was integrated in the commonly used HotBot search engine.  HotBot displaced AltaVista as the leading search engine, which shortly after was displaced by Google.  In October 2005 Eric Brewer accredited much of the AltaVista dislodgment to the technical differences of scale.  Inktomi went on to create Traffic Server, which is a stand-in cache on demand media and web traffic. 

Many large service providers have used traffic server, AOL being one of them.  In November of 1999 Inktomi purchased Webspective, in 2000 Inktomi acquired Fast Forward Networks, the Ultra Seek server from Disney’s, and The Content of Bridge Business Unit from Adero.  Adero was a content delivery network, which had created the Content Bridge Alliance with Inktomi.  To add to Inktomi’s list of purchases they acquired eScene Networks. 

Webspective creates technology for synchronizing and managing data across a host of circulated dedicated servers to be used in clustered or deliver load balancing.  Fast Forward develops software for the delivery of the live streaming media above the Internet using multicast technology.  eScene was purchased because its software provided an incorporated workflow for the management and publishing of video content.  With all these combinations of different technologies, Inktomi became very useful to a multiple amount of service providers.  In 2000, Inktomi profited from their $241 stock share.

As a result of previous acquisitions, Inktomi had C2B, and Impulse Buy Networks. Both of these companies had been a part of the association shopping space and the performance based marketing industry.  There were over 4 million products registered in the service in 1998. Inktomi was serving over 20,000 websites on a daily basis. Because of this, merchants paid a percentage of sales and a cost per click for the traffic sent to their websites.  This process was soon known as the pay per click.  Google and Overture services perfected this service.

Websense created the technology behind the proxy server.  Websense reconstructed the server and included it in their Webblazer product.  Yahoo! eventually acquired Inktomi/ There was a final collapse of the service provider industry and an overall burst of the dotcom bubble.  When this occurred, Inktomi lost a good amount of its customers.  Yahoo! Purchased Inktomi in 2002 for $235 million.  In addition, another transaction took place: Ultraseek Server product was sold to competitor Verity, Inc also in 2002.

The name Inktomi comes form an ancient Indian legend about a spider character that was tricky.  In this legend Inktomi is known for being able to beat and larger predators and adversaries through his wit and being cunning.  Tom Lamar developed the different colored cube logo in 1996.

A gentleman named Martin was interested in checking out the Inktomi search engine and this is what he had to say about it. “Inktomi does not play fair, an example is it crawled first the robots.txt file, ignoring "disallow" tag.  Inktomi has many bugs. This could be the reason why Yahoo is not using Inktomi even though Yahoo! Purchased Inktomi in 2002. Inktomi is weird. It gets mad if he can't find the keyword in the English dictionary.  Inktomi has low relevancy results. For some keywords he fetches old pages from old domains. It contains old links instead fresh ones.”

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