Networking hardware startup Infineta is looking to carve out a niche in a seldom-addressed part of the wide area network (WAN) optimisation market with the launch of a new appliance.
The company said that its Data Mobility Switch (DMS) offers vastly improved performance when transferring large data loads such as server backups to remote locations.
Infineta vice president of products Haseeb Budhani told V3.co.uk that, while most WAN optimisation appliances take a 'north-south' approach of managing multiple connections from branch offices and users, DMS is geared towards managing a few connections between datacentres and back-up sites.
Budhani explained that issues such as bandwidth and latency rarely crop up for remote users or branch offices, but can severely slow larger transfers.
"When you look at inter-datacentre WANs, it is very aggressive traffic and sometimes latency-sensitive," he explained.
To overcome those hurdles, Infineta replaced the conventional software-based WAN optimisation platform with an entirely hardware-based system. The result is an appliance which can sit directly between the network router and switch, requiring only minutes to set up and offering throughput speeds of up to 10Gbit/s.
Budhani said that DMS is simple to upgrade. Customers purchase a single appliance which can be configured to support throughput speeds of 2Gbit/s, 5Gbit/s or 10Gbit/s, depending on the licence.
The ability to easily update throughput speeds could prove important in a market where Infineta estimates that customers upgrade appliances every 12 to 18 months.
Budhani explained that Infineta does not want to be in competition with traditional WAN vendors such as Riverbed Technology, but Gartner research vice president Joe Skorupa placed Infineta in a small but growing category alongside Riverbed, Silver Peak and F5.
The analyst told V3.co.uk that there is a definite market for datacentre-level WAN optimisation. Growing data loads, combined with the need for widely dispersed back-up locations and shortcomings in storage and backup protocols, are driving the need for appliances that can speed up data transfers.
"I can't tell you that it is going to be a billion dollar market but, if you are a startup and you can get 10 per cent of that market, it is a good place to be," said Skorupa.
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