BT launches managed WAN optimisation service

Integrating Riverbed's WAN service into its portfolio for corporates, BT will also resell Compuware's apps-performance monitoring service for online businesses

BT is now offering its corporate customers a fully managed wide-area-network optimisation service, as well as an applications-performance monitoring service.

The two services, both targeted at companies with branch offices and practising mobile working, were announced on Monday. Both are cases of BT reselling existing services as part of its managed-IT-services portfolio — the wide-area-network (WAN) optimisation service is based on technology from Riverbed, and the applications-performance monitoring service on Compuware technology.

"As enterprises look to be more efficient with fewer resources and finances, a managed service environment relieves them of the challenges surrounding the management of multiple vendors," said Jean-Noel Moneton, BT's vice president of network services, in Monday's statement. "The services we announce today are the latest additions to our Applications Assured Infrastructure (AAI) portfolio, which is a set of repeatable managed services that audit, monitor and optimise the performance of applications throughout their lifecycle."

According to BT, the WAN optimisation service speeds the performance of applications between datacentres, remote offices and mobile workers "by five to 50 times and, in some cases, up to 100 times".

Asked why BT was introducing Riverbed's service, despite similar services from Cisco already being available through BT's portfolio, a company spokesperson said it was because Riverbed "came out on top in the rigorous assessments [that BT] conducted on all the leading WAN optimisation vendors".

"They have an excellent range of application acceleration protocols and mobile acceleration options. Riverbed addresses bandwidth and latency constraints for the broadest range of applications of any WAN optimisation vendors on the market," a BT spokesperson told ZDNet UK.

"The solution delivers direct benefits for all TCP-based applications, including CIFS, Mapi, Mapi2003, NFS, MS-SQL (TDS), HTTP, HTTPS, FTP, Oracle11i, and countless other applications," the spokesperson said.

The application-performance monitoring service is based on the installation of a device in the datacentre, and measures response times between the user, server and application without physical devices needing to be installed at each user location. BT is particularly targeting online businesses with this service, claiming it can analyse individual page-load times and give "instant feedback" regarding the performance of online services.