Akamai Technologies, Apple’s streaming media partner, has formed an alliance with CacheFlow.

Akamai and CacheFlow will integrate Akamai software into CacheFlow hardware devices. This will enable the devices to automatically tag objects and rename URLs (uniform resource locators) contained within a site's content for the most efficient delivery of distributed information, Chris Turner, director of channel sales and programs at Akamai, said today.

"We're not using CacheFlow hardware to improve the performance of our network, but teaming with CacheFlow so that the 'Akamaization' process can now take place from their cache appliances," Turner said.

The CacheFlow device, based on an operating system designed especially for accelerating content delivery, will sit between Web servers and Akamai's distributed network of over 2,000 servers and will field the site's Web requests. The Akamai software integrated into the device uses algorithms to make decisions about the best server from which to deliver content, Turner said.

Currently, Akamai offers customers two different software-based methods for enabling their sites' interactions with the Akamai network.

The CacheFlow device with integrated Akamai software will be available in the second quarter of this year, Turner said. The alliance agreement also calls for CacheFlow to resell Akamai's service with its caching appliances.