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Crescendo's Second Coming

Once upon a time, a company called Crescendo Communications Inc. made a big splash by getting acquired by Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO), and becoming a foundation stone for what turned into a multibillion-dollar Ethernet switch business for Cisco.

Next week, a company with a strikingly similar name, Crescendo Networks Ltd. is emerging from stealth mode at the NetWorld + Interop show in Las Vegas, and it's hoping to make a bit of a splash itself, by unveiling an innovative application enablement appliance.

Called the Maestro, the appliance sits in front of a group of servers, offloading TCP/IP and SSL tasks that the servers would otherwise handle. It also compresses data and directs traffic to whatever server is least busy in a way that results in significant improvements in application performance and much more efficient use of server resources.

The demo at the N+I show will probably be impressive, but nothing can beat getting feedback from an actual customer. Cue Mariner Systems Inc. (Marsys), an application service provider that's had a pre-launch version of the Maestro in its San Mateo, Calif., data center for nearly a month.

Maestros offload abilities have been a major benefit to Marsys, according to the ASP's CIO, Nader Shaterian. He says, “Having a TCP offload appliance on the front end lets us scale our servers: This lets us go from 500 to 1,500 concurrent users on a single server."

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