Stampede boosts TurboGold with Web acceleration

A new version of Stampede Technologies Inc.'s TurboGold, an add-on product for IBM Corp.'s Lotus Notes and Domino products, adds new features for storage management and for speeding the performance of Lotus' Web applications. The expansion comes as IBM readies its own network and replication performance upgrades in the Notes/Domino 6.0 version, due out soon.

Aimed at large enterprises supporting Lotus Notes deployments for thousands of end-users, TurboGold is intended to speed data transfer and replication, saving time for users and reducing the load on corporate networks. TurboGold Enterprise Edition, released Tuesday, adds acceleration features for Lotus' iNotes Web client and QuickPlace Web software for team collaboration. It also includes new storage management tools that zip databases and e-mail attachments, and a "multicator" function for simultaneously transmitting updates to all database subscribers.

Another new addition to TurboGold's Enterprise Edition is technology allowing administrators to assign priority levels to network Notes traffic, boosting bandwidth and other resources for critical data and applications. Those "traffic-shaping" features are designed for use with third-party bandwidth management applications such as Packeteer Inc.'s PacketShaper, according to Stampede, based in Dayton, Ohio.

TurboGold's primary selling point has been its replication acceleration technology. IBM says it's addressing that traditional pain point in its Lotus software, adding advanced network compression features in its forthcoming Notes/Domino 6, scheduled for a third-quarter release. But Stampede officials said they're not worried about IBM stealing their customer base.

"There is still a delta there with our compression versus their compression. But we're trying not to get into a discussion on compression and streaming. (TurboGold's) real value-add is in the new features: the auto-zip, the multicator, the traffic shaping, the Web acceleration," said Denis Clark, Stampede's senior vice president of business development and marketing.

One potential customer said it's the new Web acceleration tools that attracted him to TurboGold.

Bob Evans Farms Inc. operates nearly 500 chain restaurants throughout the U.S. from its headquarters in Columbus, Ohio. Linking those restaurants is a Lotus system used for e-mail, document-sharing, several databases and a new custom Web application for handling inventory management. Bob Evans has that new application deployed in half its restaurants, and is bringing new locations online at the rate of about 30 a week.

"We wanted to make that as fast as possible for the restaurants," said Information Systems Vice President Larry Beckwith, who began evaluating vendors several months ago.

Since his primary focus is on speeding up the Web application, he wouldn't have considered TurboGold without that feature; gaining acceleration technology for Bob Evans' Notes e-mail and databases is a nice bonus, he said. Beckwith's technical tests of TurboGold show hard-to-quantify but "significant" acceleration and time savings, he said. He's interested in purchasing the software and currently is in contract negotiations with Stampede, he added.

TurboGold Enterprise Edition is available worldwide. Single-client licenses start at US$63 and single-server licenses start at $1,913. An optional annual subscription provides technical support and software upgrades; current subscribers will receive the Enterprise Edition upgrade free. TurboGold supports Lotus Notes 4.51 and above, including the forthcoming Notes/Domino 6. Its client software runs on all Windows systems beyond 3.x, while TurboGold's server software works with Windows NT, Windows 2000, Windows XP and several IBM operating systems running on IBM's iSeries, pSeries and zSeries servers.

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