Expand Broadens WAN Optimization Options

Expand's new WAN optimization controllers are aimed at small and regional offices.

True to its name, Expand Networks on August 27 expanded its line of WAN optimization controllers with four new hardware models aimed at small branch offices and regional offices.

One week after the release of the latest version of Expands Compass 6.1 software, which featured enhancements to its Wide Area File Services function and TCP optimization engine, Expand added new hardware appliances that expand the range of concurrent TCP sessions optimized.

The new appliances support between 6400 concurrent TCP sessions in the new Accelerator 4830 and 4930 and 128,000 concurrent TCP sessions in the new Accelerator 6830 and 6930.

The new hardware appliances parallel a trend toward users opening a larger number of sessions at the same time, according to Liad Ofek, vice president of technology services at Expand in Roseland, NJ.

"Weve seen in todays environment users running multiple applications at the same time on the desktop, so the number of sessions they are running is getting higher and higher. With others you may require a higher end device in the branch office because of higher demand for session support. Now we have a low end box with an attractive price for a larger amount of sessions and users," he said.


Read more here about Expand Networks joint venture with Huawei-3com.

Both the Accelerator 4830 for small branch offices and the Accelerator 6830 for regional offices, which have no hard drives, are aimed at government installations such as federal offices and the military that require that no data be stored on hard drives for security purposes.

"Expand has been getting traction in the federal government and defense," said industry analyst Joe Skorupa for Gartner in Fremont, CA. Although Expand has not done as well commercially in North America, Skorupa said, the company on August 28 announced that it has signed its first North American distributor, Interlink Communications Systems, which specializes in data communications and internetworking.

The new Accelerator 4830 and 4930, which provide compression, Quality of Service, TCP protocol optimization, encryption and optimization specific to applications such as Citrix, Microsoft Exchange, Oracle and others, supports WAN data rates of between 1M bps to 6M bps and 1 GB of memory. The 4930 comes with a 160GB hard drive and supports up to 200 WAFS (wide-area file services) users.

The Accelerator 6830 and 6930 provide similar functionality and support WAN speeds of between 2M bps to 15M bps, provide 2 GB of memory and provide flow optimized TCP acceleration control. The 6930 includes a 500 GB hard drive and supports up to 500 WAFS users.

The new Compass 6.1, along with the flow optimized TCP acceleration control, adds dynamic bandwidth adjustments and WAFS transparency.

"With dynamic bandwidth adjust, we can identify congestion on the WAN and adjust bandwidth settings to apply QOS (quality of service) on the right available bandwidth at the time," said Ofek.

"The per-flow control and optimization in this release gives better throughput and deals well with high loss and high latency links. Expand does that very well," commented Skorupa.

The new Accelerators are available now with support for Compass 6.1


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