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10:25 PM
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More Thoughts on WAFS

The vehicle doesn't matter, says Gartner guru

12:25 PM -- No sooner had my latest story on WAFS been posted, than I heard from a source I'd phoned earlier -- Gartner research director Joe Skorupa. (See Brocade & Packeteer Widen Target.)

He disagrees with the view that Brocade's latest Tapestry WAFS kit is for OEMs. He thinks end users are clamoring for software-only solutions.

Customers who are already consolidating branch office hardware, he insists, may have leftover servers that can be rejiggered as WAFS and/or WAN optimization units. (Gartner's term is WAN optimization controllers.)

"We've talked to many users who say it's more painful to install software on a router than it is to deploy a separate appliance," he insists.

And he says the kind of hardware platform underneath -- be it router or appliance or simple server -- just doesn't matter that much. "These products are at least 99 percent software value."

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