NetScaler Upgrades Appliances To Speed App Performance

The company plans to augment its 9000 Series application switches, gateways and accelerators with more than 75 new features and enhancements slated for availability next quarter.

The features, available as software upgrades, give solution providers a way to bring new capabilities to customers without requiring hardware changes and should help push NetScaler's technology deeper into enterprise accounts, said Dave Gottesman, CEO and general manager of Technology Deployment Research, a San Francisco solution provider.

"The additional features and enhancements are going to become a critical part of expanding the use of NetScaler across the enterprise," Gottesman said. "It can fully replace the Web tier in many cases, or at least reduce it."

Among the new capabilities is AppCompress Extreme, an optional feature for the acceleration of Web-based applications, including Web versions of enterprise applications from vendors such as Oracle, PeopleSoft, SAP and Siebel.

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In third-party testing, the new capability has provided up to a 44-times improvement in application performance, said Greg Smith, senior director of product marketing at NetScaler, San Jose, Calif.

AppCompress Extreme builds on NetScaler's existing compression capabilities to speed the delivery of HTTP traffic. Now, in addition to compression, the technology improves performance by dramatically reducing the amount of data sent out to users, Smith said.

"At the first request, our box sends the whole page using compression. The next time it compares [the page] to the original and only sends the changed data," he said.

Pricing for AppCompress Extreme starts at $10,000 per appliance.

NetScaler also is enhancing AppCompress MP, a feature introduced last year that enables compression for all applications running on all TCP-based protocols. With the upgrade, AppCompress MP now accelerates traffic bi-directionally, adding compression of data sent by clients back to servers.

AppCompress MP is available as a standard feature across NetScaler's appliance family.

NetScaler's updates come just months ahead of the expected close of the company's sale to Citrix Systems in a $300 million deal announced earlier this month. The acquisition is on track to close in the third quarter, Smith said.