HP hops on the WAN bandwagon

Hot on the heels of Juniper’s acquisition of wide area network (WAN) optimisation player Peribit, HP has signed an agreement with WAN specialist Riverbed to license its acceleration technology.

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By  Simon Duddy Published  May 18, 2005

Hot on the heels of Juniper’s acquisition of wide area network (WAN) optimisation player Peribit, HP has signed an agreement with WAN specialist Riverbed Technology to license its acceleration technology. HP will use Riverbed’s Wide Area Data Services (WDS) software, which is the core technology in Riverbed’s Steelhead appliances. WDS software will form the basis for the new HP StorageWorks Enterprise File Service (EFS) WAN Accelerator, which will be marketed through HP’s direct sales force and worldwide system of resellers, integrators and other technology partners. HP says the StorageWorks EFS WAN Accelerator is a simple, transparent appliance solution that accelerates applications on wide-area networks (WANs) by up to 100 times. The solution is built on the industry-standard HP ProLiant server platform and can be easily integrated into any enterprise network and installed in less than ten minutes. “Riverbed’s WDS technology is an important component in HP’s strategy for converging the networking, storage and server markets,” says Harry Baeverstad, director of Network Attached Storage, StorageWorks Division at HP. “Riverbed’s Steelhead software allows us to eliminate the complexity of deploying and managing multiple boxes from multiple vendors, while giving our customers the best WAN acceleration solution available,” he adds. Dick Pierce, the CEO of Orbital Data, which is a competitor of both Peribti and Riverhead, sees these announcements as symptomatic of a realisation among large technology equipment companies that the WAN optimisation and application acceleration spaces are here to stay. “Previously, some router vendors have tried to do it on their own by integrating compression and acceleration technologies into their products, but users don't turn them on because they create latency. Sometimes, the router vendors themselves have recommended to customers that they turn off the compression capabilities,” says Pierce. Analysts have praised the move saying that it helps to fill in gaps in HP’s product portfolio. “This agreement between HP and Riverbed makes perfect sense,” says Zeus Kerravala, VP of enterprise infrastructure at The Yankee Group. “With the convergence of the WAN optimisation and WAFS categories, and the rising importance of wide area networks within the enterprise, HP’s customers need a comprehensive solution. They will benefit greatly from having access to Riverbed’s market-leading WDS technology on HP’s hardware,” he explains.

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