Riverbed shared with us Gartner's Magic Quadrant for WAN Optimization - from a report by Joe Skorupa [pictured], VP Distinguished Analyst and Bjarne Munch, Principal Research Analyst, Gartner.
"Most networks carry a variety of traffic types of differing characteristics and importance. Many organizations are striving to manage this traffic to optimize the response times of critical applications and reduce costs, given that bandwidth continues to represent a significant proportion of operating expenditure for wide-area data networks. But the cost of bandwidth isn't the only consideration — as resources are increasingly centralized, minimizing the effect of latency on application response times is becoming a critical requirement. In addition, virtualization and new application environments, such as cloud computing and Web services as well as data replication, can put an unexpected strain on the WAN"
"The development of the application acceleration market has been driven by customer demand for highly integrated solutions that employ a wide range of techniques to optimize network traffic and that offer scalability and fault tolerance. Vendors in this space initially addressed either the traffic shaping/QoS market or the compression/caching market. These two segments have now largely merged, with most products supporting both sets of capabilities. Increasingly, the combination of application visibility/QoS and latency mitigation is required to achieve acceptable application performance. We therefore see a need for application identification/control and both generic and application-specific optimizations to mitigate the impact of network latency on remote application performance"
See: "Riverbed Again Recognized As A “Leader” In Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for WAN Optimization–Seven Years Running" - here