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Brocade & Packeteer Widen Target

Software-only version begs questions about how WAFS is best implemented UPDATED 12/15 11:10 AM

Brocade today announced a software-only version of the Tapestry WAFS (wide area file services) product it OEMs from Packeteer, in a move that raises questions about the best way to use WAFS in IT networks. (See Brocade Intros Software WAFS and Brocade Busts Out Upgrades.)

Up to now, Brocade has sold Tapestry WAFS as part of a hardware appliance or as factory-installed software on servers from Dell, HP, and IBM. Brocade also OEMs the Tapestry WAFS to Nortel for its edge devices. (See Nortel Embeds Brocade Tech.) The new Brocade package is a standalone software app for any Windows Server 2003-based system.

The new standalone software is the cheapest way to buy Brocade Tapestry WAFS, though it can't be called a bargain. The software starts at $15,538 for a package that includes a headquarters and remote-site node supporting five users. In contrast, Brocade's factory-installed Tapestry software costs $10,000 more, but it comes with a failover capability the standalone package lacks. Likewise, Brocade's Tapestry WAFS appliance has failover, but it starts at $21,710 for core and edge components for five users. Brocade plans to eventually integrate the failover into the standalone option, but has no date for delivery.

Brocade's release comes days after Cisco announced the addition of a Wide Area Application Acceleration Services (WAAS) module to the vendor's integrated services routers (ISRs). Formerly, Cisco sold its WAFS technology only as a module for a standalone appliance. (See Cisco Touts ISR.)

So Brocade and Cisco customers have fresh options for adding WAFS to their networks -- besides the slew of choices they already have from vendors such as Riverbed, Juniper, Expand, and Exinda, to name just a few. (See Exinda Intros WAN Appliance.)

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