Microsoft and Packeteer have jointly announced a branch office appliance designed to provide WAN throughput optimisation capabilities in tandem with native Windows apps.
With the new Packeteer iShaper device, IT workers will be able to manage and speed up WAN traffic in branch offices while using Microsoft technologies such as Active Directory and the Internet Security and Acceleration Server to boost security protections, says Bala Kasiviswanathan, director of Windows Server branch and storage solutions.
Microsoft and California-based Packeteer are collaborating on the engineering and marketing of the iShaper appliance, which is being manufactured by Packeteer.
Scott Erickson, chief technology officer at Maryland-based Erickson Retirement Communities, uses Packeteer’s existing PacketShaper appliance and is beta-testing the iShaper device. “Certainly, it has potential,” he says.
Erickson says iShaper’s US$11,000 (NZ$14,900) starting price appears to be low enough that he could afford to install one of the appliances at each new branch office as his company, which builds and manages retirement housing communities, continues to grow.
In addition, Erickson hopes to use iShaper to combine file services and other applications with his WAN for easy and fast transmission of bulky engineering drawings and other materials that field engineers need to access.
Zeus Kerravala, an analyst at Yankee Group, in Boston, says the joint marketing arrangement gives Microsoft the ability to sell additional server-level software to customers attracted by Packeteer’s acceleration technology.
IShaper supports over 600 applications and is aimed at branch offices with more than 50 end users.