Expand Networks target Australian bottlenecks

Expand Networks, providers of airborne secure remote access to US Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and the Joint Forces Command, has substantially upped its antipodean presence aiming to gain a substantial foothold in defence, government and corporate sectors.

Having established offices in Melbourne and Singapore, the Israeli-based WAN solutions and traffic shaping vendor says Australia is ripe for the picking, as rising application traffic volumes swell resulting in bigger bills for enterprise network traffic.

Expand's core offering is a processor and RAM-based traffic slimming device known as Accelerator which strips out common elements of applications such as Citrix then compresses and transmits the differences on the fly, thus reducing traffic sizes by as much as 400 percent, according to Expand CEO Zohar Pearl.

"It hunts out repetitive and patterned data and holds back what is the same. Apart from more capacity, there is additional value in better user experience and increased reliability in mission-critical functions and application service levels," Pearl said.

Pearl said that Australia was geographically well suited to what he called "next-generation compression technologies" because of the combination of physical distances coupled with often slow or overpriced infrastructure.

The company has already inked deals with industry-based reinsurer OAMPS and the Greater Murray Area Health Service, and is in the process of demonstrating it to the Department of Defence in addition to a number of other commonwealth and state-based agencies.

In terms of encryption security, Pearl said that additional encryption products and point-to-point are available for an additional cost. The Accelerator product is certified under the US Department of Defense's Joint Interoperability Test Command.

A source close to local defence information technology said that it was not surprising that Expand was now targeting the commercial sector, adding that its offerings to date had "good credibility" in what he termed "the ruggedized space".

"It comes from a network background where you can't just deploy more pipe as a solution. For some [potential customers] I guess that will always appeal. It really becomes a question of which is cheaper, the solution or the bandwidth."

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