Certeon updates appliance with Microsoft 2007 application acceleration

WAN optimization vendors includes features to speed Microsoft Office and SharePoint applications.

Certeon next week will announced updates to its WAN optimization technology designed to speed applications from Microsoft and ensure remote employees get LAN-like performance in branch offices.

Certeon, formerly content delivery network vendor Infolibria, in 2003 retooled its product to address application performance over wide-area links. The Certeon S-Series appliances sit in the line of the network between the gateway router and the switch that is managing the LAN. Certeon employs a symmetric product set that requires customers to install appliances in the data center, as well as on the other end of the WAN in remote or branch office locations. The technology uses blueprints of such known packaged applications as Oracle or SAP to understand the user requests that will require specific application data objects to pass over the WAN.

Next week the company will add support for 2007 Microsoft Office, and SharePoint and Exchange platforms to its suite of S-Series Application Acceleration Blueprints.

Industry watchers say the company's approach to support specific Microsoft applications could win customers over in a crowded market. Certeon competes with Juniper Networks, Riverbed and Silver Peak Systems.

"Microsoft has put a lot of work into its collaboration applications like SharePoint because it knows the issues of delivering applications to branch offices. Certeon's blueprints extend the Microsoft platform," says Peter Christy, a principal at Internet Research Group.

Certeon's technology uses its knowledge of packaged applications and learns how users request application data at a specific customer site to let the appliances predict what is probably going to traverse the WAN, the company says. When the appliances understand what needs to be sent over the wide area, they send only the data that represents the difference between the predicted and actual traffic, reducing the amount of data to be sent.

Another Certeon differentiator is its ability to accelerate secure traffic, Christy says. "The company invested a lot in accelerating encrypted traffic," he says.

Certeon's secure application technology looks into the data of the encrypted traffic and in clear text applies the acceleration technologies before sending it securely back to the data center. The company says its S-Series appliances communicate with each other to support an SSL session without the private key ever leaving the data center.

The updated appliances and blueprints for 2007 Microsoft Office System and SharePoint Products and Technologies are scheduled to be available this quarter. The blueprint for Exchange Server is expected to be available in early 2007.

Certeon offers three models of its application acceleration appliances that support these Microsoft blueprints: the S-1000, S-2000, and S-3000, for small branch offices, regional offices and large data centers, respectively. Pricing ranges from $6,000 to $35,000.

Copyright © 2006 IDG Communications, Inc.

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