Limited Participation from Cisco

By Paula Musich  |  Posted 2005-04-29 Print this article Print

In the WAN-optimization space, Packeteer Inc. next week for Interop will introduce a new application compression algorithm plug-in for its traffic management appliances that boosts the performance of text and e-mail by as much as 20 percent. The new ICNA algorithm is available now.
Packeteer will also launch its new Mentat SkyX Server 155, which provides VPN acceleration for remote and mobile users. The new server, intended for customers that have many locations or a large virtual workforce, optimizes performance across high-capacity WAN links operating at up to 155M bps.
It is designed to be deployed at a central location, and communicates with client-side software installed on individual users systems. The server operates as a companion to Packeteers Mentat SkyX Gateways to extend TCP acceleration across a variety of WAN links to different locations. It is available now. Read details here about Shunras WAN-replicating network modeling tool. Crescendo Networks Inc. at Interop will show off Version 3 of its Maestro software for its application front-end appliance. The new software release enhances data compression by up to 60 percent with zero latency at gigabit speeds; adds a new server load balancing algorithm that performs a unique least-number pending-requests load balancing; and adds traditional Round Robin and Weighted Round Robin algorithms. Notably absent from the fray is Cisco Systems Inc. Outside its Actona acquisition in the storage file-systems space, Cisco has remained on the sidelines. "Cisco has not responded yet to F5 [Networks] in moving from simple server load balancing up to these [application front ends]. There have been several accounts where customers have wanted to see Cisco do something and its not been there. Redline, NetScaler and F5 have been picking up that business," said Lynn Nye, principal at APM Advisors in Portland, Ore. Nye said that it seems that Cisco is instead focused on Quality of Service queuing mechanisms within its IOS (Internetwork Operating System) software. Other observers say they believe the potential market is not big enough and the problem is not strategic enough for Cisco to get involved. "When they acquired the data caching company—Actona—they said compression was something customers needed only on a small percentage of their lines," said Peter Christy, co-founder of Internet Research Group in Los Altos, Calif. "Cisco wanted, for strategic reasons, things that were more broadly deployed. And so they believed compression was a better technology to leave to smaller vendors." Despite Junipers big splash with its pair of acquisitions, Christy said he does not see Cisco jumping into the fray with its own. "I dont think Cisco feels threatened right now. I dont see a need for tit-for-tat catch-up," he said. But it could spur others to buy into the market, said John Fomook, director of worldwide marketing at Packeteer in Cupertino, Calif. "I imagine it will spark more activity in response. Theres still a lot of companies and technology. Its probably too many. When you think in terms of platforms, how many can one marketplace support? We know customers want fewer and fewer vendors to deal with," he said. Check out eWEEK.coms for the latest news, views and analysis on servers, switches and networking protocols for the enterprise and small businesses.


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