Belfast tech company takes on network giants

Replify, a UK based start-up company, says it is changing the way data is transferred across wide-area networks and in doing so, is challenging billion dollar companies like Cisco and Riverbed.

The company says that more and more people work from outside the office for a large proportion of their time. We’re also seeing enterprises rapidly adopting cloud computing in various forms. All of this means that users are accessing corporate data and applications across a wide area network and experience frustrating delays and poor response-times.

The traditional way of addressing this problem has been an expensive hardware device called a WAN Optimisation Controller (WOC) deployed in every site across the enterprise, but Replify says that approach doesn’t work for mobile workers, nor for cloud services.

Replify’s approach is different – the WOC hardware device is replaced by software in the cloud or corporate data-center (known as a “virtual” appliance) and by a small client on each user’s PC. The clients provided WAN optimisation for individual users, but more than that, Replify’s unique CLAN (Co-operative LAN) feature identifies collocated groups of users and allows them to securely access each other’s data caches. This means that data sent and received by that group of users need only cross the network once, thereby delivering user response at LAN speeds, and removing 90% or more of the traffic from the wide area network.

CLAN is targeted at distributed organisations but also at the rapidly growing cloud services market. It provides acceleration and optimisation of the key application protocols for web browsing, email and file transfer. Replify’s Accelerator is a pure software product deployed directly onto end-user’s PCs, and with CLAN it goes beyond personal optimisation to provide the same levels of performance improvement associated with expensive, and inflexible hardware appliances.

Today Replify is deployed as part of the largest eLearning network in Europe, accelerating access to web based learning for pupils in 900 schools across Northern Ireland.

“Enterprises are increasingly unwilling to deploy more hardware into branch and remote sites” commented Brian Baird, CEO, “and of course only a software solution can be deployed into a public cloud, so our software-only approach is uniquely fitted to the emerging application delivery models.”

Fergus Wilson, CTO, said “Personal WAN optimisation was already invaluable for collaborating distributed teams and virtual learning environments, but with CLAN we match the capabilities of traditional WAN optimisation appliances, but without the cost or complexity of deploying any remote hardware at all which spells the end for the lucrative WOC market that Riverbed, Cisco and others have built up over the last decade.”