Microsoft Taps Packeteer for Branch Office Server
Published: May 9, 2007
by Alex Woodie
Microsoft and network bandwidth management company Packeteer have teamed up to develop an all-in-one server that simplifies IT frameworks in remote branch offices. The new server, called an iShaper, will feature Packeteer's network acceleration technology alongside an array of commonly used services, such as file, print, and security software.
As distributed Web-based applications proliferate, Packeteer, like many of its network acceleration brethren, has been moving up the stack from its bandwidth optimization roots into the application itself, through support for wide area file system (WAFS), Common Internet File System (CIFS), Layer 7 on the IP stack, and other technologies.
Now, with the new iShaper appliances, Packeteer will not only be caching, compressing, and optimizing bits as they flow in and out of distributed applications, but the company will also be running many Windows infrastructure workloads directly on its appliance.
The new iShaper appliance features a special version of Windows Storage Server 2003. On top of this base, Packeteer will support Windows file and print services, a DNS controller, backup capabilities, and a router and intrusion prevention system (IPS). Microsoft's Systems Management Server (SMS) will also be included on the box.
Dave Côté, president and CEO of Packeteer, says the introduction of the iShaper will address the "branch office performance gap." He explains that gap by saying, "Enterprises can now deliver business critical data as well as voice and video applications to their branch offices with LAN-like performance and high availability in a single appliance." We're obviating the need for point products that only accelerate data and offer a fraction of what iShaper can deliver."
The two companies, which have been partners for years, say the iShaper will be most welcome at branch offices of mid- to large-size organizations that need access to the Web, enterprise applications like ERP and CRM, and voice over IP (VoIP) and streaming video. The iShaper automatically recognizes and shapes packets for more than 600 applications, according to Packeteer.
Later this year, Packeteer will deliver an update to iShaper that adds firewall capabilities. Those security features will be added through the addition of Microsoft's Internet Security and Acceleration (ISA) Server to iShaper's roster of infrastructure workloads. Other items on the iShaper roadmap include SSL acceleration, SSL certificate management, and virtual private networking (VPN).
The first iShapers will ship by the end of June, and will provide 10 Mbps of acceleration and 45 Mbps of total throughput for a cost of $11,000. For more information, visit www.packeteer.com.
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