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Vendor Speeds Up its WAN Accelerator

The Wide Area Network accelerator market has picked up steam as small and medium businesses try to move information more quickly over those connections. One leading vendor recently pumped its product line to gain more market traction.Juniper Networks has been a key provider of many networking devices. Two year ago, the company bought a couple of the early WAN accelerator market entrants: Perebit and Redline. Since then, Juniper has emerged as one of the market leaders. To maintain its position, the vendor announced three new models for its WXC line, which supports a variety of protocols, including TCP, UDP, MAPI, CIFS and HTTP/S. In addition, the WXC platform eliminates redundant transmissions, accelerates TCP/IP and application-specific protocols, and prioritizes and allocates bandwidth to help ensure application availability. The devices feature QoS and content distribution features.

The new models are geared to small and medium businesses. The WXC 1800 accelerates up to 2M bps of WAN traffic and supports a maximum of 10 connections; the WXC 2600 supports traffic acceleration up to 8M bps, and works with 20 links; and the WXC 3400 speeds WAN traffic up to 45 M bps and supports more than 100 sessions. Pricing for the devices ranges from about $5,000 on the low end to approximately $25,000 at the high end.

The WAN accelerator market has become quite competitive. Riverbed has emerged as a leading supplier, Cisco has been promoting Wide Area Application Services (WAAS) approach, Hewlett-Packard has pushed into this market segment, and a bevy of smaller companies, including Blue Coat, Cymphonix, and Ipanema are vying for attention. Jupiter has fared well in the marketplace, and the company hopes that its latest enhancements will help to cement its position.

Are you interested in WAN acceleration products? How much would you be willing to pay for them? What are the challenges in justifying purchases of these products?