Why Read This
In Forrester's 65-criteria evaluation of wide-area network (WAN) optimization vendors, we found that Blue Coat Systems and Riverbed Technology lead the pack, in part due to the changes these vendors made over the past year through acquisition of complementary products. This year's analysis reflects emerging end user interest in WAN optimization use cases, such as the ability of the solutions to enhance virtualization performance, act as a platform for virtualization, and empower consolidation initiatives in branch offices. The diversity of vendors evaluated ranges from those with a strong focus on small, branch deployments, such as Expand Networks, to those with a strong focus on the data center, such as Silver Peak Systems, plus vendors that cover both ends of this spectrum, along with network equipment major vendors Cisco Systems, Juniper Networks, and F5 Networks. WAN optimization pure plays such as Blue Coat and Riverbed continue to provide strong technology offerings by developing their solutions further with the addition of application visibility, while vendors with a strong heritage in virtualization — such as Citrix Systems — are showing how their road maps include extending virtualization to their WAN optimization infrastructure while continuing to develop enhancements for virtualized client and application performance.