Mac Tel gambles on network booster

Hosting company Macquarie Telecom has put itself on the line with a new managed wireless area network (WAN) optimisation product, saying that customers will see faster applications — or they'll get their money back or be given free bandwidth.

Hosting company Macquarie Telecom has put itself on the line with a new managed wireless area network (WAN) optimisation product, saying that customers will see faster applications — or they'll get their money back or be given free bandwidth.

Speed

(Going nowhere fast image by YtseJam Photography, CC 2.0)

The managed WAN optimisation products, based on Riverbed technology, are designed to speed up business applications over fibre, DSL and satellite links. The WAN has an emphasis on improving SAP and Microsoft applications over connections where bandwidth is scarce, promising "National Broadband Network-like performance".

"This announcement provides our customers with the ability to get the most out of their existing networks and paves the way for a super fast highway connection to the cloud," Glen Noble, group executive of Data Services for Macquarie Telecom, said yesterday at the launch.

"Our hosting experience combined with deep telecommunications expertise means we are perfectly equipped to deliver customers the benefits of the NBN before it even arrives," Noble added.

Macquarie Telecom is backing its new product with a cash-back offer. If a customer doesn't experience increased network performance based on the service-level agreement, Macquarie Telecom will offer either a free bandwidth upgrade or money back.

Noble said that Macquarie had approached Riverbed because of demand from customers, although they weren't asking for WAN optimisation specifically.

"Customers don't ask for WAN optimisation, they say 'I'm really frustrated [by slow applications]'. They use another language," he said.

He assured, however, that the new managed services are more than just on-selling Riverbed's products; they are combining it with an all-hours helpdesk, online management tools and integration with other Macquarie Telecom offerings including its managed cloud product.

"I challenge the word on-selling technology. We're selling this as a managed service. For our business customers it's about transporting applications [faster]," Noble said.

Macquarie Telecom has been beta testing the service for several months, Noble said, announcing Anglicare Central Queensland as one of its launch customers for the service.

"After deploying the Riverbed WAN optimisation technology, we achieved a 500 per cent increase in WAN performance during business hours," said Luke Mackie, senior ICT officer for Anglicare Central Queensland. Mackie added that documents that had taken two minutes to open on the old service now open within 10 seconds.

"The new high performance network was crucial for the deployment of SharePoint across the company," Mackie said.

Noble said that the managed WAN optimisation service is set to go live for all customers in the coming months.