While at Interop '07 in Las Vegas, I noticed that several vendors were talking about their application acceleration technologies. These are technologies that speed up the end-users experience when it comes to working with networked applications.
One thing I learned is that not all acceleration technologies are created equal. For example, whereas some acclerators like Stampede's work with any TCP/IP-based network application (including Web-based applications), others like Nortel's may only work with Web applications. Another difference is in architecture. Some accelerators (like Stampede's) are symmetrical. In other words, there's a piece of technology (in Stampede's case, software) that runs on the client side and another piece of technology (usually hardware) on the server side. With asymmetric solutions like Nortel's, the acceleration is usually taking place on just one end of the "pipe."
These differences in architecture also affect the pricing strategies. For example, with symmetrical solutions, there may be a price for the central hardware-based accelerator on the server-side and then an additional cost per seat. Such is the case with Stampede. With asymmetrical solutions, there's usually just a one-time cost for the central acceleration "applicance."
One thing is for sure. There are no standards when it comes to acceleration which is a shame. After all, if there's a way to make TCP/IP apps faster (especially Web apps), doesn't it make sense for them to be faster for everyone, and in a standard way so that no one needs one proprietary technology to experience accelerated apps from one Web site, and another proprietary technology to experience accelerated apps from another Web site?
Anyway, check out the video above where I interview Nortel's Dale O'Grady and Stampede's Keith Vozel about their companys' respective offerings.