New desktop software optimizes WAN performance while enabling SSL-based VPN functionality.
Software clients are clearly the next step for WAN optimization: Most organizations have employees who don't work in a corporate office all the time, and most laptop hard drives now have enough space to spare for the large dictionaries required by data reduction. Laptop software can even lead to a greater performance boost than appliances when used with browser-based applications through SSL VPNs, as it applies reduction to unencrypted data without requiring any key sharing. However, performance takes time (and bandwidth) to ramp up, as the dictionary must be built anew for each machine: Some organizations may also be put off by the security risks of giving every laptop a large data cache that includes SSL session contents, though device theft is a problem even without this. Andy Dornan NWC Senior Technology Editor
Citrix Systems this week introduced new client-based software to improve application performance over the WAN for mobile and branch-office workers.
Most WAN-optimization appliances do the majority of their work on the server, so mobile users in particular are often left out of the optimization equation. The new Citrix WANScaler client addresses that problem by putting optimization smarts on the local client. The software also works in conjunction with Citrix Access Gateway SSL VPN to combine secure network access with WAN optimization.