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WAN Optimizers Lap Up Laptops

Could WAN optimization hold the key to surviving acts of God and avian flu? The technology, typically associated with data centers and remote offices, has vendors scrambling to add laptops to the mix in an attempt to boost their disaster recovery stories.

Today, for example, Blue Coat unveiled a software client for laptops, which it claims can extend features such as HTTP, CIFS, and TCP optimization out to road warriors and remote workers. (See Blue Coat Intros Software and WAN Optimization Gone Wild.) Gartner analyst Joe Skorupa predicts that we will see "a ton" of these laptop technologies coming onto the market over the next few years. "It's tough to find a large enterprise that doesn't have more people working from home and people moving around," he says.

The analyst explains that threats such as avian flu and general disaster recovery planning are forcing many firms to rethink their strategies for remote workers. (See Pandemic Plans Pan Out, Biz Continuity Goes Back to Basics, and Users Talk Power Pains.) "What if you have 300 or so people in Denver, and you have a snowstorm, and they can't make it into the office?" he asks.

Essentially, the Blue Coat client is a software version of the vendor's SG appliance, which is installed on laptops. (See Blue Coat Announces Growth and BlueCoat Adds Security .) The vendor has already slashed the access time for a 10-Mbyte PowerPoint from 104 seconds to 3 seconds during in-house tests, although Blue Coat was unable to offer up any beta customers dabbling with the technology.

Blue Coat is not the first mover in this space. Earlier this year, for example, Packeteer incorporated its Mobiliti client (a file acceleration tool formerly from Tacit) in the same software package with its SkyX offering, which boosts TCP/IP applications. (See WAN Optimization Inches On, Packeteer Integrates SkyX, Mobiliti, and Packeteer Picks Tacit.)

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