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WAN optimizers jostle for position

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According to a recent IDC report, the market for WAN optimization solutions is growing at about 19 percent every year and is likely to reach $610m by 2009. That’s because more than half of enterprise staff now routinely access mission-critical apps from remote offices where, despite the ready availability of high-speed broadband, the link between the branch office and the datacenter can still be a bottleneck.

Part of the problem is the way apps are written, with the general assumption that they will be on high-speed local area networks with minimal latency and few other problems. However, short of re-engineering apps to work better over low-bandwidth, high-latency WAN links, there are a number of ways to overcome the difficulties.

Most of these strategies involve appliances (or software) to compress the data being squirted down the line, with a matching appliance at the remote site to decompress and put it all back together again. The same appliances can also accelerate network protocols, for example, by using large frame sizes over the WAN link and providing local acknowledgment facilities. Plus they can also provide additional application-specific optimization for common programs such as Microsoft Office, Exchange and most client/server database systems

Read the entire article here, WAN optimizers jostle for position – IT Week

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