By Ann Silverthorn
—Tacit Networks and Packeteer today announced a strategic alliance enabling joint customers to consolidate and centralize e-mail, Web servers, and file servers at corporate data centers while delivering optimal application performance to branch-office users. Tacit Networks specializes in wide area file services (WAFS) technology while Packeteer is a WAN application optimization company.
The agreement consists of joint sales and marketing, certified interoperability, a cooperative support agreement, and joint development.
According to Chuck Foley, Tacit's president, the alliance evolved from each company's customers needing solutions that the other provided. As Tacit's customers eliminated their branch-office e-mail and file servers by consolidating them in the data center, they also wanted to classify and manage their data traffic over the WAN. Packeteer customers, who could already manage their data traffic, compress data, and increase acceleration on TCP/IP links, wanted to eliminate their e-mail and file servers and also deal with WAN disruption and ensure data integrity over their networks.
Customers will now be able to purchase a single server consolidation strategy with WAFS and WAN optimization from Tacit and Packeteer. The companies claim customers can streamline costs and maintain optimal application performance at branch offices by centralizing distributed enterprise applications and file services management. The alliance is also designed so customers will be able to control and allocate WAN bandwidth for sites with constrained capacity. From a management angle, companies will be able to use a single console to manage the Tacit and Packeteer functions.
Peter Christy, a principal analyst with the Internet Research Group, says that ".... combining WAN application optimization and WAFS technologies is becoming more important in order to improve remote office application performance while at the same time achieving the cost efficiencies of server and storage consolidation."
Tacit claims to have 100 customers, 40% to 50% of which are Fortune 500 and Global 2000 companies. The company's Ishared "stackable services" build on its WAFS technology to provide centrally managed file, e-mail, print, Web caching, management, and networking services for branch offices. Tacit's Wellspring architecture is designed to speed information flow, ensure data integrity, availability, and consistency at the highest levels of security and performance, and provide cross-platform support for both native-Windows and Linux-based operating systems.
Packeteer claims to have more than 7,000 customers. The company provides WAN application optimization for consolidation of network visibility, bandwidth management and quality of service (QOS) capabilities, application acceleration, and centralized management functions in a single appliance. Application classification and monitoring along with quality-of-service functions are designed to protect mission-critical applications by prioritizing application-specific traffic. In addition, Packeteer claims its appliances increase existing network capacity through compression techniques to help users avoid costly network upgrades.