Citrix, Microsoft to team on new appliance

Appliance will give IT admins an easy way to drop business applications into branch offices

Microsoft and Citrix Systems plan to co-develop a new line of branch office appliances that will combine Microsoft's Internet Security and Acceleration (ISA) Server with Citrix's upcoming WANScaler network acceleration technology.

The first appliance in this line is expected to ship by the end of 2007, according to Wes Wasson, vice president of Citrix's Application Networking Group.

It will be based on Microsoft's Windows Server 2003 operating system and will also include the security gateway capabilities of ISA Server, he said. Citrix will add the WANScaler network optimization technology as well as remote management capabilities to the mix.

The unnamed appliance will give IT administrators an easy way to drop business applications into branch offices, Wasson said. It will be co-developed and marketed by both Microsoft and Citrix, but will carry the Citrix brand. Pricing for the new appliance has not yet been determined.

The WANScaler appliance will be based on technology is acquiring through its $50 million purchase of Orbital Data. It is expected to begin shipping after the Orbital Data acquisition is completed later this year.

Orbital Data's technology uses a variety of techniques, including compression and TCP (Transmission Control Protocol) multiplexing to boost data transfer rates over wide area networks.

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