Expand Networks to Acquire WAFS Provider DiskSites

The application acceleration provider gains greater control over the DiskSites wide-area file services technology that it has already integrated with its Compass WAN application acceleration platform.

Application acceleration provider Expand Networks on May 15 will take its OEM arrangements with wide-area file services provider DiskSites to a deeper level when it announces its agreement to acquire the company.

Although the two privately held companies would not disclose the purchase price, the deal calls for DiskSites shareholders to receive 13.5 percent of Expand shares.

Expand, with U.S. headquarters in Roseland, N.J., sought to gain greater control over the DiskSites WAFS technology that it has already integrated with its Compass WAN application acceleration platform.

"We dont have to worry about procuring the technology from a third-party vendor with the risk that another company would buy them," said Chris Williams, Expands chief marketing officer.

The other benefits to the acquisition include having a single research and development organization. "One development effort is more responsive to the needs of our customers," he said.

At the same time, the combined companies can be more flexible in pricing. "We will announce new price platforms that allow us to open up new markets," Williams added, suggesting that Expand is considering a WAFS appliance priced under $3,000. "This is significant in terms of being able to take this technology and give small offices the benefits of wide-area file services that larger offices are getting," he said.

Expand, which last year opened up its WAN application acceleration platform and completed the integration of the DiskSites WAFS technology late last year, believes it has a head start over rival Packeteer, which last week announced its acquisition of Tacit Networks.

/zimages/3/28571.gifClick here to read more about Packeteers purchase of Tacit Networks.

"They have the task of integrating [multiple] operating environments. That is a tremendous challenge," said Williams.

Both deals are a part of a broader trend in the market to consolidate multiple WAN optimization and application acceleration techniques into a single platform, as more enterprises look to move beyond tactical, point products to more integrated solutions.

The deal is expected to close within the next 30 to 60 days. DiskSites, with U.S. headquarters in Potomoc, Md., has 25 employees. No layoffs are planned.

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