Certeon unveils secure app acceleration appliance

Certeon this week will launch its Secure Application Networking WAN product set that the company says addresses the problem of speeding secure traffic between data centers and remote locations.

Founded in 2003, Certeon delivers WAN acceleration appliances and competes with the likes of Riverbed and Silver Peak Systems. Certeon officials say the company's technology can break through the barriers previously encountered by other vendors attempting to accelerate encrypted traffic.

Security often challenges network managers looking to speed traffic. For example, when traffic is encrypted, current WAN optimization offerings lack the capabilities to compress encrypted, or secure, application packets flowing through the traffic, Certeon reps say.

"Encrypted data cannot be compressed and typically acceleration tools let encrypted traffic pass by, which doesn't necessarily accelerate it," says Peter Dougherty, president and CEO at Certeon.

He says Certeon appliances coupled with secure acceleration technology can also speed secure traffic across wide-area links. The Certeon S-Series appliances sit in the line of the network between the gateway router and the switch that is managing the LAN. Certeon employs a symmetric product set that requires customers install appliances in the data center as well as on the other end of the WAN in remote or branch office locations.

Certeon technology uses blueprints of known, packaged applications such as Oracle or SAP to understand the end-user requests that will require specific application data objects to pass over the WAN. Using knowledge of packaged applications and learned knowledge of how end users request application data at a specific customer site, the Certeon appliances predict what is likely to need to traverse the WAN. When the appliances understand what actually needs to be sent over the wide area, the appliances only send the data that represents the difference between the predicted and actual traffic, reducing the amount of data to be sent.

In the case of secure traffic, Certeon's secure application technology looks into the data of the encrypted traffic and in clear text applies the acceleration technologies before sending it securely back to the data center. Dougherty explains that Certeon S-Series appliances communicate with each other to support an SSLÂ session without the private key ever leaving the data center.

"We are able to accelerate the traffic while still protect the privacy of the data," he says.

The Certeon S-Series appliances are available immediately. Three models, the S-1000, S-2000 and S-3000, support small branch offices, regional offices and large data centers, respectively. Pricing starts at US$6,000. The company says an average data center implementation can cost about $35,000.

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