Final insight from the road

* Common questions asked by seminar attendees

In the last few newsletters we discussed some of the key topics that were highlighted on the recently completed six-city network and application optimization seminar tour that was produced by Network World and moderated by Jim Metzler. In this newsletter we are going to review some of the most common questions that were asked by the seminar attendees.

One of the questions that the attendees asked in most, if not all, of the cities was along the lines of, “As the workforce continues to become more distributed, how do you see this technology adapting?” The point of this question is that most of the currently available network and application optimization solutions require a dedicated (a.k.a., expensive) appliance. This is not likely to be an economically viable solution for very small offices or home offices. The good news is that multiple vendors stated that they had a version of their solution that did not require a dedicated appliance.

One seminar attendee asked Jim if he thought that the marketplace was going through a period of consolidation. Jim certainly agreed that a lot of consolidation was going on, and used the fact that many of the sponsors of the seminar tour had recently made an acquisition. However, Jim also used the fact that Ipanema was on the tour as just one example of the fact that companies are still entering the U.S. marketplace. Jim’s conclusion was that the market was simultaneously consolidating and expanding.

Another seminar attendee pointed out that Microsoft claims that their Vista operating system solves the Common Internet File System (CIFS)-related performance issues that result from server consolidation and wanted to know if this negated the need for a Wide Area File Services (WAFS) solution. None of the vendors had tested the impact of Vista. However, the general consensus was that even if Vista did negate the need for a WAFS solution, that it would be years before Vista was widely deployed.

Another seminar attendee asked,“What role does the process play relative to solving network and application acceleration issues?” That is a very important question and it points to an area where we are doing a lot of research. We promise to write about this topic as soon as our research is completed.

If the topic of network and application optimization interests you, you should note that Jim will be moderating a similar Network World seminar on Nov. 30 in San Francisco. If you are in the area you are invited to attend and continue this important conversation.

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