Enterprise interest sees WAN market take off

Enterprise interest sees WAN market take off

Vendor Packeteer leads in the booming market as unit shipments increase 39 per cent

WAN optimisation deployment rocketed last year and growth will continue until 2009, according to findings from analyst Infonetics Research.

The report, WAN Optimisation Appliance Market Outlook, found the market increased 49 per cent worldwide in 2005 to $236m, and unit shipments increased 39 per cent over 2004. The report forecasts double-digit annual growth until at least 2009, with annual unit shipments almost tripling and revenue more than doubling.

Matthias Machowinski, directing analyst of enterprise voice and data at Infonetics Research, said: “The size of the rise was a surprise because it’s pretty large. WAN optimisation is still a small market and the devices have been around for a while, but there is now more interest from the enterprise side.”

Machowinski said Packeteer is the leading market vendor, followed by Expand, Juniper and then Riverbed. He said exact leading margins were unavailable, but Packeteer’s market share is double its nearest rival.

“EMEA grew a little less than worldwide because some companies that entered the market, such as Riverbed, have a larger North American market,” he said. “That will change as companies distribute to new geographies.”

Tom Thorpe, channel manager UK and Ireland at Packeteer, said: “We are seeing the market adopt the technology and it is growing dramatically. Multiprotocol Label Switching, video and voice over IP are driving demand and firms are looking at other ways to manage their WAN rather than just more bandwidth.”

Thorpe said more voice players are also looking towards WAN optimisation to ensure the delivery of critical applications on networks. He added that Packeteer’s biggest challenge is increasing its end-user visibility and improving brand awareness.

“The market is consultancy driven,” he said. “There are integrators and service providers looking to provide services round Packeteer.”

Eric Wolford, senior vice president of marketing and business development at Riverbed, said: “We are excited about the market and there is a strong desire from end-users to make applications go significantly faster over the WAN.”