Vendors Widen WAN Strategies

Peribit announces a new partner, and new hardware and software, but others are also busy upgrading their product lines

October 26, 2004

3 Min Read
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Peribit Networks Inc. today unveiled a new low-end device, the SR-15, that will work with the vendor's upgraded management software and be sold by a new partner (see Peribit Touts Product, Partnership).

Peribit's news reflects a trend among vendors of devices that boost application performance across wide-area networks (WANs). By overhauling their product lines and forging new partnerships, the vendor and its rivals are attempting to win deals from bandwidth-hungry users.

Key to success is having a broad product line, sources say. You don’t want to be a one-trick pony -- you need to be doing multiple product developments,” says Stephen Elliot, senior analyst at IDC.

Developing a range of products, a broad "footprint," helps vendors approach users that deploy a bunch of different-sized WAN optimization devices throughout their IT infrastructures. Vendors try to encourage a user to replace its handful of providers with just one for both its data center and its network infrastructure. The argument is that fewer vendors make the network easier to manage.

Peribit hopes to tap into this trend by upgrading its Periscope Central Management System (CMS) software. The new version contains an embedded database that tracks data on Peribit devices for up to a year. With the previous version, users could only track 90 days of data, according to Peribit execs.IDC's Elliot believes this spells good news for users. “Historically, [data] reporting has been a big selling point,” he says. This, he adds, could let users check the response times for specific applications over a number of months.

But Peribit is not the only vendor playing in this space. Rivals Packeteer Inc. (Nasdaq: PKTR) and Expand Networks Inc. are both updating their product lines, and startup Swan Labs has also unveiled new devices to speed up enterprise applications (see Swan Labs Swoops on Applications).

Expand took the wraps off a new branch office device last month, and Packeteer, which recently announced a strong set of third-quarter results, has also got new technology up its sleeve (see Packeteer Announces Q3 ).

A spokesman for Packeteer told NDCF that the Cupertino, Calif.-based firm will be announcing new hardware, software, and management products “in the near future,” although he refused to provide any specific details.

Nonetheless, Elliot believes that having a new low-end device could help Peribit's contract negotiations with customers. “I think that it will put pressure on the opposition in terms of pricing. Peribit will have more pricing scaleability at the low end.”Peribit is also looking for a leg up from its new buddy iDirect Technologies, a manufacturer of satellite networking equipment. Although they will not resell each other’s products, the two companies will “reference sell” the SR-15 and iDirect’s iNFINITI satellite networking devices into their existing customer bases.

Finding new routes to market is seen as key to success in an increasingly competitive market. Newcomer Swan Labs, for example, is already working hard to boost its channel. A spokesman confirms that the company is “building out” its reseller channel, both in North America and the rest of the world: “Within 12 months we will have something that’s highly competitive with any competitor out there."

— James Rogers, Site Editor, Next-Gen Data Center Forum

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