Rising Tide of WAN Optimization Solutions

Arthur Cole

Enterprise managers like nothing more than a technology that lets them do more with what they already have, particularly when it negates the need for expensive new hardware. That's why developments like virtualization have captured the industry's attention.


You can add WAN optimization to that list. Sales are booming, and vendors are falling all over themselves to devise new ways to deliver data and applications to remote areas with the same latency and performance as workers in the home office enjoy.


Blue Coat Systems, for example, has a new software client called ProxyClient that allows you to extend security and control over networks owned by others, delivering full application acceleration wherever the employee needs it. The system offers byte caching and location awareness, along with centrally managed Web filtering and anti-spyware and phishing protection.


Meanwhile, Packeteer has brought in Cavium Network's Octeon Multicore MIPS64 processors to vastly increase the throughput and distributed application processing capabilities of the upcoming new Turbo architecture. The company claims the match-up will deliver the industry's fastest network processing environment, combining intelligence, multi-gig traffic monitoring and real-time policy enforcement. Look for it on the next PacketShaper 10000 system.


Still other solutions are looking to combine optimization and virtualization, offering acceleration technology as a virtual appliance. Network Executive Software (NetEx), formerly a unit of StorageTek, is out with the HyperIP system for VMware's ESX Server. It's geared toward mirroring, replication and backup and recovery applications, with the company reporting up to 10x performance increases over WAN links from 1 to 622 Mbps.


Most enterprises know a bargain when they see one. Improved performance and a more flexible and responsive workforce without major architectural upgrades? Sounds like a pretty good deal.

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