The convergence of WAN optimisation with core routing may be taking a big step forward, with Huawei-3Com (H3C) buying the rights to use acceleration software from Expand Networks in its upcoming Intelligent Management Centre (iMC) integrated router platform.
"We saw a compelling reason to evolve our products into more of a multi-discipline device in order to address the requirements of the market," said Caoxiangying, H3C's CTO. "We evaluated many vendors and Expand Networks' Compass platform offers the most robust solution and is built to handle the many phases of WAN optimisation and application acceleration."
The Compass software includes modules to reduce TCP latency, cut application chattiness, and provide wide area file services (WAFS), among other things, and will be able to accelerate SSL-encrypted apps by the middle of 2007, the company said.
Expand CTO Efi Gatmor said the key to the H3C deal is the way Expand has decoupled Compass, which runs on a Linux base, from its own appliance hardware.
"Because our product is modular, we are in a unique position to run on third-party boxes, such as servers and routers," he said. "We will see a lot of OEM opportunities in 2007 and 2008 in different scenarios, some vertical, such as mobile, airlines, kiosks. If we can, we'll integrate with their code.
"I predict that in 2008/2009, the security companies will participate in WAN optimisation too. One pressure will be the Juniper roadmap and their vision of a god-box for UTM and WAN optimisation."
Gatmor said some of the OEM opportunities could involve Compass on a virtual server - Expand already has it running on VMware as a proof-of-concept. "I see there being three major players by 2009/2010. The first is applications - Microsoft, Oracle and the rest will add some optimisation capabilities to the applications themselves.
"Another is networking - Cisco, Juniper, etc, will integrate it into appliances, but that's only in the network, whereas we can put an appliance in the data centre as well, close to the servers.
"The third part will be managed service providers - they will have to add optimisation capabilities. We want to be part of the network and are also talking to MSPs." ®