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Microsoft and Packeteer Join Forces on 'Branch Office in a Box'

Branch offices present special challenges for IT, mostly because of often slow or unreliable WAN connections, and a lack of onsite IT personnel to secure the local network and computers. Microsoft Corp. and Cupertino, Calif.-based Packeteer believe they have found a solution with iShaper, which is being promoted as a "branch office in a box."

iShaper is an appliance that optimizes voice, data and video traffic into and out of branch offices, making more efficient use of the limited bandwidth that often plagues those remote outposts, according to the companies. It does in conjunction with built-in Microsoft applications like Windows Server, Internet Security and Acceleration Server (ISA Server), and Systems Management Server.

At $11,000 per appliance, iShaper isn't for small companies or branch offices with a few employees. Packeteer said it's intended for branches with 50 or more employees, large enough to generate the kind of inbound and outgoing traffic that can clog a standard WAN link.

The first iteration of iShaper is slated for release later this quarter, with new versions scheduled for release in the last quarter of 2007. The later versions will have enhanced version of ISA Server, with advanced firewall protection, virtual private network services and secure Web (HTTPS) application acceleration capabilities, according to a joint Microsoft-Packeteer press release.  

Packateer is a Gold Certified Microsoft Partner.

About the Author

Keith Ward is the editor in chief of Virtualization & Cloud Review. Follow him on Twitter @VirtReviewKeith.

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