Orbital Data this month made available a new set of products that the company says will increase throughput and enable more automation when tackling WAN acceleration and optimization.The Orbital 6000 series will offer customers more simple deployments and more automated management features, therefore lessening the total cost of ownership, the company says. The 6000 products use the company's own flow-control algorithms and buffers in the boxes packaged as TotalTransport 2.0 software, which uses a feedback mechanism between its devices so traffic is sent at the speed of the connection.This updated version of software also includes Orbital Data's new AutoOptimizer Engine, which the company says, "ensures that the correct combination of these WAN acceleration technologies is automatically applied to data flows, without operator intervention, and is dynamically tuned as applications, network conditions and data flows change."Orbital Data, which competes with the likes of Peribit Networks (acquired by Juniper Networks) and Riverbed Technology, delivers rack-mountable appliances loaded with software that address high-speed connections and data transfers over WANs. The company is releasing the Orbital 6800 for data center deployment and the Orbital 6500 designed for branch offices and WAN link up to 500M bit\/sec, along with Version 2.0 of its Total Transport software.Pricing for the Orbital 6800 starts at $21,000, and pricing for the branch office Orbital 6500 starts at $5,000.The company says the new product set and upgraded software include enough features to help WAN managers deliver "predictable performance."Industry watchers agree, saying vendors must make application acceleration and WAN optimization products easier to deploy and maintain."As enterprises are now adopting WAN optimization and application acceleration solutions, these companies are finding that existing products are difficult to deploy and manage, and often create more headaches than they solve," said Jim Metzler, an analyst with Ashton, Metzler & Associates. "This is especially true for enterprises with large numbers of branch offices, which have traditionally tackled WAN performance issues by the brute force method of purchasing additional bandwidth."