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Talari Takes Big Bite Out Of WAN Costs

The latest addition Talari Networks' Adaptive Private Networking (APN) family, the Mercury T750 appliance, is targeted at midsize enterprises with up to 24 remote sites. Intended for deployment in the data center, and starting at $21,995, the 1U rack-mountable T750 can be used with the company's branch office (T730), SOHO (T200) and data center (T3000) products. The new appliance supports WAN bandwidth aggregation up to 120Mbps downstream and 60Mbps upstream, while doing 128-bit AES encryption. Running the same APN software as the T3000, the T750 comes with nine user-configurable Gigabit Ethernet ports, two bypass port pairs, a management interface, solid-state disk and high-availability configuration with two units.

Focused on enterprise WANs, Talari says it is using virtualization technology to provide the same kinds of WAN performance improvements that RAID did for storage. This approach of offering public WAN pricing with reliability and performance superior to that of single-provider frame relay or multiprotocol label switching (MPLS) services can provide customers with 10 to 20 times the bandwidth, 30 to 100 times the bits per dollar, and 40 to 90 percent cost reductions, Talari says. Carriers have been able to get away with charging higher rates for private WANs because Internet reliability is typically two nines (99.0) as opposed to the five nines (99.999) of private WANs, says Talari.

The company says that its APN uses RAID-like methods, overlay networking techniques and end-to-end algorithms to do dynamic, real-time, per-packet traffic engineering, to combine diverse sources of IP bandwidth. These include public Internet connections and/or private networks. The end result is the ability to adapt to variations in network traffic flow virtually instantly to ensure reliable, predictable application performances.

Michael Kennedy, managing partner of Network Strategy Partners, says many enterprises that have deployed WAN optimization solutions are now looking for the next technology to further improve application delivery and to reduce costs, and Talari offers a logical next step. As far as Kennedy is aware, Talari is unique in its approach to managing throughput and performance over multiple Internet Access Circuits. "I think that the technology is entirely credible. Similar concepts are employed for Ethernet over multiple copper twisted pairs in the Ethernet in the First Mile market, for example. Talari's challenge is that enterprise network managers are a very conservative and risk-averse group. The majority stick to solutions from major vendors even when they are aware of superior technology from others. Talari told me that their initial sales are to early adopters."

It will take time for rivals to bring out competing solutions, says Kennedy. "The key for Talari will be to attract customers who are not early adopters. This will be easiest to accomplish through alliances with a major service provider, value-added reseller or systems integrator. Current economic conditions may provide the incentive for enterprises to look to save money by going with Talari."