Microsoft enters WAN optimization market with Packeteer

Microsoft has taken another step onto Cisco’s – and other network equipment makers’ – turf, by teaming up with WAN optimization and application acceleration specialist, Packeteer, to incorporate Packeteer’s functionality into Windows-based servers.

The product, iShaper, combines Packeteer’s wide area network (WAN) optimization and application visibility and prioritization technologies with Microsoft Windows Server, Internet Security and Acceleration (ISA) Firewall and System Management Server (SMS). It has been developed jointly by Packeteer and Microsoft.

According to the two companies, “With iShaper, enterprises will realize significant cost savings by converging high-speed network access to centralized data – via wide area file services (WAFS), TCP and HTTP traffic, high performance ERP, CRM and financial transactions – with high fidelity voice and video.”

The product incorporates the functionality of Packeteer’s PacketShaper product, previously available only as a stand-alone appliance, with its i-Shared product, available both as an appliance or as a Windows application.

PacketShaper is Packeteer’s flagship product that provides network and application monitoring, QoS control, data compression and acceleration. iShared is a wide area file server (WAFS) product that has evolved from technology acquired when Packeteer bought Tacit Networks. It incorporates techniques that enable files to be centrally located and accessed efficiently, rather than copies having to be retained and backed up in branch offices.

According to Bede Hackney, country manager for Packeteer, Australia & New Zealand, iShaper is the first product on the market to include both WAFS and packet acceleration in the one product. He added that it operates using a dual plane architecture: one running a Unix derivative which is most appropriate for the real time packet processing of PacketShaper and one running Windows for the WAFS functionality, most appropriate because the files handled are generally for Windows applications

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