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Expand's Series E Nets $9M

WAN optimization startup Expand Networks Inc. today clinched $9 million in new investment, bringing the companys total funding to $50 million.

The Series E round was led by Tamir Fishman Ventures and included input from Discount Investment Corp. and The Challenge Fund. Some $6.7 million of the funding has already been committed, and the remaining $2.3 million will be finalized over the next 90 days.

Expand recently became the latest WAN optimization vendor to enter the burgeoning market for wide-area file services (WAFS) (see Expand Intros WAFS, CIFS Acceleration). Whereas WAN optimization uses various techniques to compress and streamline data to reduce its footprint on the WAN, WAFS gives users in remote offices access to information from data center servers by storing replicated files on caches at the remote sites. The technology aims to improve file transfer times and enable remote users to continue working on files even if the network goes down.

Vendors like Expand, Swan Labs Corp., and Riverbed Technology Inc. are looking to combine WAN optimization and WAFS technologies in an attempt to grab market share from the likes of Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO), which has also introduced WAFS products (see Swan Revamps WAN/WAFS Kit and Riverbed Fords WAN/WAFS Divide).

Despite many announcements, though, it seems the WAFS/WAN optimization space is something of an arms race, with no vendor currently calling all the shots (see Expand Wakes Up to WAFS).

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