Adding to the lineup

* Expand Networks unveils new products for the branch office and data center

Expand Networks this week announced four new products in its portfolio of application acceleration wares. The Accelerator 4830 and 4930 are targeted for small offices and branch offices, and the Accelerator 6830 and 6930 are designed for larger regional offices.

A key feature of the devices is more flexible support for wide-area file services (WAFS), which is aimed at companies that want to cut back on the numbers of servers deployed at branch offices and consolidate them in the data center.

Other newly added features include self-adjusting TCP acceleration and dynamic bandwidth management capabilities. For customers, these features translate into an increase in the number of concurrent optimized TCP sessions supported -- which sit at 64,000 for the 4830 and 4930 devices and up to 128,000 for the 6830 and 6930 devices, according to Expand Networks CTO Efi Gatmor.

Suited for smaller remote locations, the Accelerator 4830 and 4930 devices offer compression, QoS, protocol optimization, security and encryption features, and they can accelerate IP-based applications including Oracle, SAP, Exchange and Citrix. For companies that are loathe to store data on hard drives for security reasons, the 4830 and 6830 devices do not come with hard drives, Expand Networks says.

The Accelerator 6830 and 6930 offer the same functionality, scaled for larger regional offices.

“We did a lot of market research and polled our customers on their key priorities,” said Gatmor. “The answers that kept coming back were that they required a multipoint solution that has the ability to handle many concurrent TCP sessions and could optimize almost any application and protocol. All four of our new products, which run on the Compass 6.1 Platform, address these requirements.”

In addition, the 6830 and the 6930 include flow-optimized TCP acceleration control, which uses Vegas-style algorithms to monitor the real-time state of each flow of data, according to Expand. The algorithms are designed to tune the acceleration functions to the optimal rate without overloading the infrastructure so that performance is consistent. This results in more predictable flows, fewer re-transmissions and a more efficient use of the infrastructure, Expand says.

Another feature is dynamic bandwidth adjustment, which lets a device scale the bandwidth it sends to the WAN when congestion occurs in the cloud.

Lastly, transparent WAFS capabilities eliminate the need for re-mapping clients in a virtual environment. In a virtual server architecture, Expand’s Compass software platform assumes the name of the branch file server (so that clients effectively map to Compass) and WAFS optimization takes place. With transparent WAFS, clients already mapped to the central enterprise file server also can be optimized by Compass in the branch office without remapping.

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Copyright © 2007 IDG Communications, Inc.