Microsoft is to start selling a cut-price bundle of communication technologies to businesses with large numbers of branch offices.
The combination of servers, security and network optimisation will be sold at a 43 percent discount to the software giant's standard list price.
The bundle has come about through a partnership that Microsoft has signed with network optimisation firm Packeteer. Packeteer ships software that "shapes" traffic over a wide area network, allowing voice or other urgent traffic to be transmitted as a priority.
Many vendors — mainly from the networking space, including Cisco and Juniper Networks — are selling bundled solutions that offer security, routing and wide area network optimisation in one appliance.
Microsoft has an advantage in that it can also bundle in server expertise, but before signing the deal with Packeteer it lacked the networking technology needed for a fully bundled service.
Dave Cote, chief executive officer at Packeteer, said: "This branch office promotion puts [Microsoft's] full offering of WAN optimisation and branch services technology in reach of all distributed enterprises, no matter what their size or budget."
The Microsoft bundle includes:
- Windows Server 2003 R2
- Internet Security and Acceleration (ISA) Server 2006
- Virtual Server 2005 R2
- Packeteer iShared wide area file services software