Compressing Bandwidth Costs

When placed on both sides of a WAN circuit, the vendor's Converged Compression Appliances (CCA) reduce the amount of bandwidth taken up by data, said Jim Lowrie, vice president of worldwide sales at the Billerica, Mass.-based company.

"Customers see immediate benefit and a quick [return on investment]," Lowrie said. Customers can cut monthly bandwidth costs by 50 percent or more, according to the company.

Among the CCA family's most significant features is the ability to selectively compress data by application rather than forcing compression on the entire pipe, solution providers say.

For example, VoIP or Citrix application traffic—which are already compressed—can be excluded.

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"If you try to recompress or re-encrypt data, it can cause it to take up even more room than it did before," said Alan Gould, president and CEO of BrightPlanetIT, a solution provider in Buffalo, N.Y.

For some customers, the CCA line can save money by eliminating the need for bandwidth upgrades, said Jim Clements, president of React Network Services, a solution provider in Atherton, Calif.

"Buying bandwidth is very expensive, and in some cases, you have to sign multiyear contracts to get a good price," he said.

Converged Access, which also offers WAN traffic management devices, was founded in May 2004 as a result of a management buyout of Sitara Networks. The new company recently ratcheted up its channel efforts and is working aggressively toward pushing upward of 90 percent of sales through partners, up from 50 percent today, Lowrie said.

In particular, Converged Access offers a strong lead-generation program that provides well-qualified sales leads, solution providers said.

Pricing for the CCA family, available now, ranges from $1,500 to $25,000. The line includes four models, supporting WAN speeds of up to 100 Mbps.