Orbital Data speeds apps to client machines

* Orbital Data aims apps optimization product at SOHO, mobile worker market

Start-up Orbital Data last week announced it had developed software to reside on client machines and speed applications to home office and mobile desktops.

Orbital Data, which has collected $15 million in venture funding in two rounds and to date has about 75 customers, says the WAN optimization market had missed serving one sector: small office, home and mobile workers. While products from the vendor as well as competitors such as Juniper, Citrix, Cisco and Riverbed can speed application traffic between two appliances - one in the data center and one in a branch office - the products typically didn't address the mobile worker logging in presumably from somewhere without an appliance close by. Orbital Data says it can now speed applications to those end-users not being served by a local appliance. The company calls it symmetric WAN optimization for the whole enterprise.

The company augmented its Orbital appliances for data centers and remote offices with new software that can be installed on end-user machines. OrbitalEdge software works with Orbital appliances, such as the Orbital 7300 for data centers, and the Orbital Management System (OMS) software, which is also delivered as an appliance. The company says adding the software to any client would allow them to also get applications faster than normal while on the road or working from home.

The software and appliances use Orbital Data's AutoOptimizer technology, which watches conditions and applies the appropriate optimization technology to the application traffic, the company says.

"You get the same mix of technologies, compression and TCP flow control for example, in the software," Orbital CTO Dan Decasper explains. "It runs as a Windows service in the background and is basically transparent to the user."

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