BT Global Services is planning to add WAN optimization and application acceleration technology to its Application Assured Infrastructure (AAI) offering later this year, adding “the ability to effect a change” to the visibility the service already delivers.
The division of UK incumbent BT Group Plc that serves corporate customers launched AAI in 2004 as a bundle of offerings comprising Auditing, Optimization, Monitoring, Management and Assurance.
The optimization part, however, is a professional services-led engagement whereby, having received the app performance data from the monitoring service, BTGS makes recommendations on policies to improve it, such as limiting access to webmail during certain hours, pushing batch processing activities to off-peak hours and so on.
Now however, the company plans to go beyond this advisory service to an actual optimization offering. Customers are telling us they want not only the visibility AAI provides, but also the ability to effect a change as a result, said John Gillam, head of AAI at BTGS.
He added that the company is considering its options as to who might supply the optimization technology, which comprises application flow control, or QoS, compression and acceleration, which is achieved by stripping out repeated patterns, caching them once and sending over only a tag for subsequent transmissions.
An obvious candidate for the task would be French developer Ipanema Technologies SA, which not only provides the optimization capability that underpins the Application Centric VPN offering from BTGS’ sister company BT Infonet (BTI), but also has the latter as a minority shareholder. Gillam would not be drawn, however, beyond saying that Paris-based Ipanema was among the vendors BTGS is looking at for supply of the technology.
To date, only BTGS/BTI and Equant NV, the network services arm of France Telecom SA, have rolled out SLAs for the performance of specific apps, underpinned by optimization technology (Equant’s offering is called Application SLAs and uses technology from Packeteer Inc). AT&T has a service called Application-Aware Network, but this is rather more about hosting applications for corporate customers.
Of course, there is always the argument that enterprises would prefer to have optimization and acceleration technology on their own premises and managed by themselves, against which Gillam acknowledged that BTGS has to argue the advantages of out-tasking the tin and the performance information, enabling their people to get on with making the decisions.