Window on WANs

May 9 2012   7:46AM GMT

Exinda jockeys for position on application control at Interop 2012

Tessa Parmenter Tessa Parmenter Profile: Tessa Parmenter

You may not see Exinda in Gartner’s WAN optimization controller magic quadrant, but the 10-year-old  company does much of what Blue Coat and Riverbed are doing — accelerating traffic across your WAN to ensure a good application experience. The company is privately held, but profitable, according to the company. Exinda’s deals have increased 82% year-over-year, where one-third of its more than 600 new customer acquisitions have displaced incumbent competitors.

As the WAN optimization Magic Quadrant points out, the market has matured, but it’s nowhere near being a saturated market. There is plenty of room for innovation.  WAN optimization vendors today must capitalize on more than traditional optimization techniques.

So why are IT pros turning away from more established WAN optimization vendors to Exinda? Part of the answer is that the vendor understands businesses can’t take a “binary approach to optimization,” according to Brendan Reid, senior director of product marketing. He says you can’t accelerate everything because not every application is a priority. You don’t want that Xbox traffic from a college student’s dorm room to overtake the bandwidth needed to deliver a good BlackBoard application experience.

What’s been missing in WAN optimization technology up until now is application-level visibility and control. Visibility is the other half of the WAN optimization peanut-butter cup, according to Exinda Chief Marketing Officer Nolan Rosen.

WAN optimization must include visibility to determine what traffic to accelerate and when, echoing what Blue Coat said about selfish applications. Unlike Blue Coat’s take on WAN optimization, however, Exinda believes organizations shouldn’t optimize every application first.

IT professionals need to be able to accelerate the right application at the right time, Rosen said. You need to “know your audience to put in dynamic policies,” to accomplish this.

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