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WAN accelerator boasts end-to-end security

Tight security has made it more difficult to accelerate applications on the WAN, but Certeon hopes to smash through the security ceiling with its new appliance.

Security and WAN acceleration have traditionally been two great things that don't go too great together.

But Burlington, Mass.-based Certeon hopes to put a little love in that frosty relationship. Yesterday, Certeon released its Secure Application Networking appliance, which the company says improves application response time, while maintaining security from the data center to the desktop.

Certeon vice president of marketing, Gareth Taube, said WAN accelerators have been operating under a "security ceiling" where encrypted traffic could not be sped up. WAN acceleration methods like protocol acceleration, packet compression and transmission of unencrypted data offer either limited acceleration or lack security.

Certeon's new S-Series appliance line accelerates applications and, utilizing a built-in blueprint system of frequently used applications, understands the applications and transmits only changed information over the WAN. Blueprints are available for Oracle eBusiness Suite, Microsoft Office System and Microsoft Sharepoint. That ability, Taube said, pushes information securely and swiftly.

"The appliance only has to learn local data," he said. "It only transmits the differences. It doesn't have to re-transmit the entire document for a minor change."

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Check out how WAN acceleration is going remote

The S-Series preserves security from the remote user's desktop to the server in the data center and back while accelerating all HTTP traffic and HTTPS (Hypertext Transfer Protocol over Secure Sockets Layer) traffic, which is Web protocol built into a browser that encrypts and decrypts Web-based application requests along with the data that is returned by the Web server. All traffic transmitted remains encrypted from end to end, with a box sitting just before the desktop and just before the data center.

Recent studies have shown that 60% of corporate workers are in remote branch offices, and HTTP, or Web, is the predominant application delivery protocol, accounting for about 65% of all traffic. Research also found that almost 30% of enterprises in 2005 have shifted to HTTPS or SSL, an amount that is expected to grow another 25% per year.

Gartner Inc. research director, Joe Skorupa, said in a statement that "encrypting browser traffic prevents WAN optimization controllers from performing their optimization functions. When selecting a [WAN optimization controller] vendor, it is important to understand their strategy for dealing with encrypted traffic, like SSL."

Taube said the S-Series, which comes in three sizes -- S-1000 for small branches, S-2000 for large braches and S-3000 for data centers -- features distributed SSL offload with no degradation in response time and integrates with existing VPNs and firewalls to ensure secure acceleration.

The three key elements of the new S-Series, Taube said, are:

  • Security. Certeon accelerates SSL traffic from the data center to desktop, minimizing the risk of lost data.
  • Speed. The appliance offers Secure Application Networking, which reduces application response time to increase user productivity.
  • Scalability. Certeon helps organizations optimize their use of bandwidth to more users, and applications form the existing infrastructure, support centralization of computing assets and reduce costs.

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