Packeteer Tackles YouTube Videos on Corporate Networks

WAN Flash video streaming video MySpace

The company also rolled out a new assessment services push that will tap channel providers to deliver free upfront services up front to lay the groundwork for solution sales.

Recreational streaming media content becomes a popular draw for end users that want to watch the latest episode of ABC's "Grey's Anatomy" or see a Webcast of a news story, creating a potential drain on enterprise network resources, including bandwidth.

"Video has become a very interesting phenomenon in the last six months. YouTube is probably the most famous, but you even see it on CNN," said Dave Cote, president and CEO of Packeteer, Cupertino, Calif.

The new plug-ins for the vendor's PacketShaper product family can identify and categorize Flash-based IP video traffic, bringing the total number of supported applications to over 600. The new modules aim to identify packets that carry IP video traffic and decide whether it should be accelerated or blocked.

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"Recreational flash video and streaming video is becoming a bigger problem for clients, and I believe that the problem will grow over the next few years," said Tim Hebert, CEO of solution provider Atrion Networking, Warwick, R.I., via e-mail.

Content from social networking sites like YouTube and MySpace; informational video streams such as sports, weather and news; and entertainment video streams for movie trailers, music videos and television reruns from the likes of the ABC and NBC television networks in particular have gained popularity over the past year, he said.

"During the Red Sox's championship season, we had several larger clients whose networks were brought to their knees because too many employees were watching the World Series in real time via the Internet," Hebert said. "Packeteer with its new video plug-in would have corrected this problem and more importantly it would have given network manager a higher level of visibility into the actual performance issues that they were experiencing."

The plug-ins are available free for download to customers with maintenance contracts and will be part of the PacketShaper line's next software release.

In addition to the new video modules, Packeteer is also rolling out a new initiative to offer free WAN performance evaluations to customers. "We believe it's the first step, and we want to give people an incentive to take it," Cote said. In many cases, Packeteer channel partners will be performing the free evaluations.

"Since [Packeteer] inside sales will be generating new incremental leads, we see the reward far outweighing the risk of cannibalizing existing services revenues," said Steve Inman, president of VistaOne, a Richmond, Va.-based solution provider, via e-mail.