Could the WAN optimization market be ready to shift into a higher gear?
Citrix Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CTXS) this week announced a new appliance combining WAN optimization and branch office application management, just days after a new Talari Networks survey landed that suggested busier days ahead for WAN optimization firms.
The Citrix CloudBridge 2000WS appliance, part of the CloudBridge CSX Solution, helps extend the application acceleration benefits of the cloud to more branch offices, while also consolidating the number of physical servers needed to locally manage applications at those locations. It relies on WAN optimization combined with up to two pre-packaged virtual Windows servers for running applications. The vendor also has so far verified applications from three partners -- Qumu, Talon, and Cortado. (See Citrix Builds CloudBridge to Branch Offices.)
The announcement could add further spice to the WAN optimization market, where Citrix is battling it out with the likes of Riverbed Technology Inc. (Nasdaq: RVBD), F5 Networks Inc. (Nasdaq: FFIV), and Aryaka . It also comes a week after WAN bandwidth aggregation vendor Talari Networks unveiled results from a survey which show that application performance and better support for real-time applications are the leading issues to affect the WAN in the next year. While some analysts have hinted that the WAN optimization market is maturing, the Talari survey also suggested the enterprise WAN budgets are likely to increase during the next year to address these issues, which should be good news for Citrix and all of the above. (See Juniper Taps Riverbed for Enterprise Help and Aryaka: WAN Optimization as a Service?)
One of the benefits of running cloud applications and WAN services on the same appliance is that IT managers can more efficiently and centrally manage the connectivity and applications of those branch locations as part of a more cohesive distributed enterprise model.
"What we're seeing is an evolution of the branch," says Chalan Aras, vice president and general manager of the CloudBridge group at Citrix. "Traditionally, it's the least technically advanced of corporate locations, partly because of the physical resources required to run applications locally. That's driving a desire to extend services from the cloud to the branch."
— Dan O'Shea, Managing Editor, Light Reading