WAN players partner for performance

* Riverbed, RocketStream and Expand forge new partnerships

WAN optimization vendors are trying to satisfy IT buyers who want more from their investments, and they're pairing up with other IT vendors that offer complementary products and services.

The new partnership between Citrix Systems and Akamai Technologies is a good example: Inside the data center, Citrix’s NetScaler devices offload processing from Web server infrastructure, while outside the data center, Akamai’s managed services optimize Internet protocols and route application traffic to the most available resources. Together the two technologies can help enterprises deliver end-to-end acceleration of Web-based applications.

But sometimes the pairings aren’t immediately obvious. Riverbed Technology and wireless LAN vendor Aruba Networks, for example, operate in entirely different markets, but each has a stake in making un-tethered employees as productive and secure as possible when they’re accessing corporate data and applications remotely. By making their products work together more easily, joint customers benefit.

Here are some details on Riverbed and Aruba’s new partnership, along with two other recent technology partnerships formed by WAN optimization players:

* Riverbed and Aruba eye remote workersAruba and Riverbed teamed up last month to announce a joint solution that aims to let mobile and remote users gain fast access to data and applications from any location. Aruba’s wireless infrastructure (including its access points) ensures that the access technologies and security policies are consistent as a user moves, and Riverbed’s technology (including its Steelhead Mobile Client for laptop users) looks to accelerate application performance wherever users connect.

“This plug-and-play mobile worker and remote office solution from Aruba and Riverbed will help our joint customers truly realize the benefits of a consolidated IT infrastructure,” said Venugopal Pai, senior director of alliances at Riverbed. “With fewer remote office build-outs and less remote infrastructure to manage, administrative overhead decreases and services can be delivered from a centralized and secure computing model. CIOs can cut costs and complexity with virtually no degradation in application delivery speed to remote and mobile knowledge workers.”

* Proginet embeds RocketStream’s techProginet and RocketStream are partnering to boost the speed of file transfer services. Proginet offers managed file transfer and security applications, while RocketStream makes software for accelerating content delivery. Their joint plan is to embed RocketStream’s data-transfer technology into Proginet’s CyberFusion Integration Suite, which provides managed file transfers. RocketStream (which is a subsidiary of Voyant International) says its file transfer acceleration suite is capable of speeding file transfers up to 200 times faster than traditional FTP.

“This partnership is indicative of a fundamental shift in managed file transfer,” said Sandy Weil, executive vice president of sales and marketing for Proginet. “Enterprise customers are demanding faster, cheaper, more integrated solutions for moving data and sharing files, and they see this capability as a critical strategic component of conducting business without borders.”

* Unisys taps Expand Networks’ gearUnisys plans to work with gear from Expand Networks for a new managed WAN optimization service the IT services provider is launching in Italy. Unisys will use Expand’s Compass lineup of WAN optimization and network acceleration products.

Gerhard Unger, a director at Expand Networks, said: “In today’s economic environment companies are demanding greater flexibility in technology to allow them to choose between CAPEX or OPEX options. Unisys’ managed service based on the Expand Compass platform delivers the alternative WAN optimization offering the market is seeking…”

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Copyright © 2008 IDG Communications, Inc.

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