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Swan Labs Introduces NetCelera Enterprise Application Shaping Solutions.

SAN JOSE, Calif. -- High Performance Appliances Combine WAN Optimization with Application Acceleration to Deliver Performance Gains of Up to 200x

Swan Labs today introduced a suite of new NetCelera Enterprise Application Shaping (EAS) solutions that converge applications with networking to radically improve the performance of enterprise applications deployed over wide-area network (WAN) links. Swan's NetCelera EAS solutions are the first to allow companies to guarantee enterprise application performance while fully utilizing their WAN connections. Applications accessed over T1 lines immediately experience a 5x-10x performance boost while those operating on OC12 connections see performance gains of up to 200x. Beyond potentially saving IT organizations millions of dollars per year in WAN service costs, the NetCelera EAS platforms enable enterprises to finally reap full value from critical applications delivered over the WAN by providing predictable, reliable response times for local and distributed users alike.

"Today multiple factors are combining to challenge the performance of key enterprise applications," said Youssri Helmy, chief technical officer (CTO) of Swan Labs. "The primary culprit is the sheer volume of users accessing corporate data centers over the WAN, a number that has grown 100 percent in the last four years and is expected to double annually going forward. Add to that today's requirements for data replication, disaster recovery, and backup; the trend toward data center consolidation; and new applications like Voice over IP (VoIP), and what started as a bad problem has now grown dramatically worse for Global 2000 enterprises. Our NetCelera EAS technology offers the next wave of performance improvements for applications deployed over the WAN through a combination of techniques that address the problems from different angles. Their combined effects ensure that both the network and every critical application that runs over it perform as expected, all the time."

"We are implementing a sales force automation network spanning from the U.S. to London and Singapore, and are requiring employees to use a common Customer Relationship Management (CRM) application for electronic messaging, sales efforts, and business development," said Mike Smith, vice president and general manager of operations, Forbes.com. "The NetCelera solution gives my remote users an immediate 10x performance boost for the CRM application, and we're looking forward to defining profiles to accelerate other key applications in the future."

Multi-Pronged Approach to Enterprise Application Performance Challenges

Application performance over the WAN is affected by many different factors:

--Physical distance (latency) and its effect on TCP/IP traffic

--Relative importance of different applications deployed over the WAN

--High data volumes clogging WAN pipes

--Non-productive traffic eating up bandwidth

The new NetCelera EAS solution addresses each of these challenges using a combination of unique technologies. Equally important, the NetCelera solution works at the session layer, not the packet-processing layer, to provide real application awareness and intelligence. In this way, the NetCelera solution can optimize not only the WAN connection, but also the behavior of the networked applications. The result is full WAN utilization for high ROI, with guaranteed application performance under a variety of WAN conditions.

"IT organizations are under pressure to deliver application-centric, high-quality network services," said Stephen Elliot, senior analyst at IDC. "Improving WAN application response times can be achieved through technologies such as compression, caching, and -- in Swan's case -- the combination of session processing and application knowledge. Users must assess their application and business requirements prior to choosing a WAN optimization solution, as scalability and architecture requirements will impact ROI."

Adaptive TCP Acceleration Conquers Distance and Packet Loss

The Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) uses sliding windows to pace the transmission of packets, and acknowledgements to signal the successful delivery of these windows. But when running on networks with high latency and high bandwidth, TCP's sliding windows actually slow down large data transfers. Thus, any application that has to traverse distance operates at a fraction of the theoretical WAN link capacity. When combined with as little as one percent packet loss -- which can be caused by noise at the physical layer, inefficient routing, even sunspots -- application performance over these long links can degrade further by as much as 80 percent, because of retransmission efforts. The principal reason why Global 2000 enterprises today buy large network segments is to solve these two problems.

NetCelera EAS solutions use adaptive TCP acceleration to address the effects of distance and packet loss. All application clients and servers are acknowledged locally by the NetCelera device. The technology transparently selects TCP window sizes that achieve the highest possible throughput based on link characteristics, and that minimize retransmission in case of packet loss. The result is 100 percent utilization of WAN links, even over extreme distances, for both compressed and uncompressed data. The technology also can "stripe" TCP sessions through multiple, parallel, persistent tunnels to reduce TCP overhead and increase effective throughput, or use a single persistent tunnel if that produces the best results.

Without requiring changes to end points or to the network infrastructure, NetCelera EAS allows enterprises to optimize WAN links both for cost and throughput. Using link load balancing, the technology can multiplex application traffic across multiple links, based on traffic level or negotiated rate.

Enterprise Application Profiles Generate Optimal Performance for Important Applications

The importance of any enterprise application is dependent on enterprise needs, not user location, user access, or application type. While the performance of CRM applications may be critical for enterprise sales offices, the performance of data mirroring and backup applications may be most important to major data center sites. The NetCelera EAS solution is the first WAN performance application to support Enterprise Application Profiles, which optimize application and network behavior according to business rules rather than network behavior.

Enterprise application profiles allow enterprises to group individual application sessions, networks, and subnets into a single logical entity with specific performance attributes. For example, a Siebel application could define certain performance parameters for operation over a WAN link, an Oracle application could specify different requirements for the same link, and VoIP applications could have yet a third performance profile. By using Enterprise Application Profiles, the NetCelera solution can ensure each transaction performs as specified -- even when using a common WAN link. As enterprise needs change, network administrators can change profile characteristics dynamically, based on time-of-day or user ID.

Adaptive Compression Addresses High WAN Data Volumes

Because of the growing popularity of VoIP, videoconferencing, and other multimedia applications; enterprise application architectures based on XML and Web services; and inter-company collaboration, including outsourcing, many enterprises predict that their WAN traffic rates will double annually going forward. To combat the growing WAN data volume problem, the NetCelera EAS solution supports Advanced Compression, or ACM5, at the Session Layer.

ACM5 allows enterprises to tune compression to individual applications, and deliver the best performance options both for compressed and uncompressed data. Operating at the session layer, ACM5 eliminates data transfer redundancies by grouping data into larger logical entities per session. Once the NetCelera product optimizes an initial data group, thereafter it only transmits changes over the wire, not the entire data entity. In this way, ACM5 can reduce the average amount of data that needs to traverse the WAN by 5-10x, and can achieve 20x improvements for certain applications.

Protocol Chat Reduction for Non-Productive Traffic

Some enterprise applications exhibit a "chatty" behavior at launch time, creating non-productive "conversations" over the WAN that consume bandwidth. Microsoft Exchange and Outlook are good examples of common enterprise applications that require multiple dialogs with surrounding services and clients to simply get started. This problem usually arises in the morning when users first log onto the network and launch the applications.

NetCelera uses protocol chat reduction technology to eliminate unnecessary conversations over the WAN. NetCelera observes application dialog once, learns what's relevant to the individual user, and caches server and network responses so that they can be delivered right away, without pursuing the entire network dialog. Because NetCelera removes unneeded traffic from the WAN, it increases the signal-to-noise ratio for key applications significantly. The result is expanded WAN capacity and improved end-user experience.

Scalable Product Line for Every Enterprise Need

NetCelera EAS solutions include a family of appliances delivered in both 2U and notebook form factors. Different models target link capacities ranging from 128 Kbps up to 622 Mbps. NetCelera is the only platform capable of optimizing OC12 links today.

NetCelera EAS solutions are currently available, with entry-level prices starting at $2,499.

About Swan Labs

Swan Labs is the premier provider of Enterprise Application Shaping (EAS) solutions to Global 2000 companies. Enterprise Application Shaping is a new technology that combines the best aspects of WAN optimization and application acceleration. With Swan Labs' NetCelera EAS solution, enterprise customers experience increased application utilization, predictable end-user response times, dramatic WAN performance gains, and lower WAN costs. Swan Labs is headquartered in San Jose, Calif., and has development and support operations in Ireland. The company has received more than $15 million in funding from NorWest Ventures, DCM-Doll Capital Management, and Benhamou Global Ventures.
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Publication:Business Wire
Date:Oct 18, 2004
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