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Provider Launches Cloud-Based Application Acceleration Service

Virtela, a managed network services company, has announced a cloud-based application acceleration service that the company claims can improve performance by five to 25 times. If applications aren't faster, the company will pay customers 2.5 times the service charge, says Vab Goel, founder and CEO of the Denver-based provider. Virtela will also connect branch offices to a corporate network infrastructure for $5 per day per office. Virtela says that its services can lower the TCO of branch-office infrastructure by 80 percent. The acceleration service is based on the company's new Enterprise Services Cloud architecture.  The company offers services in 190 countries with 50 local cloud centers.

"It very much works as advertised and we have noticed dramatic improvement in performance between our sites that have it implemented," says Bob Andreini, global director of IS/IT for Measurement Specialties, a global manufacturer of sensor products located in Hampton, Va. The organization, which has about 14 sites worldwide, has been beta-testing the application acceleration service's functionality.

The application acceleration uses caching, compression and other optimization techniques to reduce application chattiness. The company offers acceleration on a range of popular applications, including Exchange and Notes. It claims performance improvements of 7 to 25 times for Microsoft Windows File Sharing, such as with Microsoft Office; 5 to17 times for Microsoft Exchange and Lotus Notes; 5 to 13 times for ERP/CRM applications, such as Siebel, Oracle, or; 6 to 10 times for Web-based collaboration, such as Microsoft SharePoint or Oracle WebCenter; and 10 to 25 times  for data backup and storage, such as with EMC, NetApp, or Amazon EC2.

Later this year, the company expects to provide similar cloud-based services for security and mobility. For example, the company will offer managed smartphone services, as well as real-time security that will manage and monitor devices end to end. If the system sees something wrong, it will either call the enterprise and notify personnel, or block or stop the traffic.

Placing application acceleration and WAN optimization in the cloud has great value, and is a development that he has been looking for in the market for some time, says Michael Suby, director of Stratecast, a division of Frost & Sullivan. However, Virtela may have to modulate its prices. Suby notes that $5 per day per branch office comes to more than $1,800 a year for a single office, which some organizations may feel is too expensive. On the other hand, using a cloud connection removes some of the heavy lifting and hardware expenditures a branch office would normally require, he says.