Outsourcing WAN optimization

* Global scale distinguishes Virtela’s application acceleration services

The market for managed WAN optimization and acceleration services is heating up as another entrant joins the field. In late June, network and security services provider Virtela Communications announced its new Accelerated WAN Service, which lets enterprises delegate WAN optimization and application acceleration efforts to an outsourcing partner rather than maintain the gear and expertise to do it in-house.

Virtela claims its suite of managed services can improve application and protocol performance over the WAN by a factor of two to three times on average, or as much 30-fold, depending on the application. At the same time, the service lets enterprises lower their bandwidth costs and avoid WAN upgrades, Virtela says.

One thing that distinguishes Virtela’s offering is its global scale -- the services are available in 190 countries. In addition, companies interested in Virtela’s WAN acceleration services can chose from among a few different implementation options. Enterprises can purchase WAN acceleration devices on their own, or Virtela can bundle the devices with its existing access services, such as last-mile connectivity.

Customers also can take advantage of Virtela’s collocation services and deploy an acceleration device in one of Virtela’s data centers, choosing a geographic area that will improve response time for multiple corporate sites.

“High latency can slow applications to a crawl, and sending large file over the WAN can take far too long,” said Bill Dodds, Virtela's vice president of sales and marketing, in a statement. “Problems like these can have a significant impact on applications' usability and on overall productivity. Our Accelerated WAN Service greatly improves the user experience, making it seem as if remote applications are loading from the local site and slashing file transfer time.”

Virtela’s news comes just a few weeks after AT&T’s launch of its managed application acceleration service, which is available through the carrier’s Internet Data Centers (IDC). By year-end, AT&T expects to have 38 IDCs worldwide.

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Copyright © 2007 IDG Communications, Inc.

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