Accelerator boosts corporate wide area network capacity by up to 400%

Multinational building materials manufacturer Kingspan has been able to significantly expand its enterprise resource planning...

Multinational building materials manufacturer Kingspan has been able to significantly expand its enterprise resource planning systems by using network optimisation technology that boosted its wide area network capacity by up to 400%, writes Antony Adshead.

Kingspan used Accelerator technology from Expand to boost its bandwidth when rolling out SAP and Citrix to five divisions in countries across Europe, the US and Singapore.

Accelerator uses Expand's ECT technology, which significantly reduces network traffic loads by using a combination of cacheing and compression techniques. Expand claims that Accelerator users can achieve full return on investment with six to 12 months.

Expand's technology uses three basic techniques to inspect traffic and reduce its volume: selective cacheing, vertical data analysis and adaptive packet compression.

Selective cacheing is the most significant contributor to the overall effect. It identifies commonly transmitted material and stores it for retrieval when encountered again. If the data is found again, only a reference tag is sent and the stored data is retrieved locally.

Vertical data analysis divides packets into their component segments - those containing information relating to the various protocols necessary for their successful transmission - and in doing so significantly reduces the extent of the header information. In other words, the technology is pre-programmed to understand the way a packet is formed so that the header information is not spelled out every time.

Adaptive data compression deals with data not handled by cacheing or vertical data analysis . Different data types, such as HTML, SQL or Java, are handled by the appropriate algorithm.

Expand claims a performance increase of 100% for Voice over IP, a 300% increase for thin-client traffic such as Citrix or Tarantella, and a 400% increase for application software and e-mail.

Sean Hickey, head of IT at Kingspan, said, "We had five different Wans, one for each of the divisions of the company. We decided it would be more cost-effective to have one Wan for the entire organisation and looked at reducing our bandwidth requirements."

"I first installed Accelerators 12 months ago between two sites. Given their performance over a period of four months, where we experienced a 400% increase in throughput, we decided to extend our use of them. They became integral to rolling out a new group-wide Wan. Using Accelerators we have reduced network running costs significantly, and got return on investment within six months."

Read more on Business applications