Help me shop/compare, network aceleration:

I am in kind of a in a cool situation:

I have been told I can do some research and make a proposal to my managers.

I am researching products that will best fit our ships to improve them fleet wide:

I work on a ship and therefore have a small satellite pipe to the WAN. The WAN handles traffick to/from the internet for me.

This small pipe could be better with web acelerators, DNS&Web caching, compression, security etc.

I was told by some of the cruise ships they use F5 Big-IP for all of these features.. I want to propose something like this to Upper management for potential procurement. However, I can't come to them with one product. I am looking for something comparable to F5 BigIP with cacheing modules,  or may even have more features than F5 BigIP to utilize this small satellite pipeto the fullest.

I work for a gov entity. So security features are a big bonus to us.

Can you give me a produt that might suit my needs so I can offer at least three comparible products and pricing?  

NOTE: I will post a second question, asking which product you would choose for MY application, and why. You will be linked to that question.
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ChiefITAsked:
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relliott66Commented:
Device wise I am F5 all the way.  Service wise, we use Akamai acceleration.  Depending on what branch of government, there is a possibility you might be able to use Akamai's DoD acceleration platform.  It is set up through DISA and is called GCDS.  Cheaper than their commercial product and just as good.
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relliott66Commented:
any luck?
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ChiefITAuthor Commented:
Well the service has been already set up as we are our own service provider. But, I still need other objects to weigh out in comparison to F5 Big IP for caching and other features that can make use of a tiny internet pipe over a satellite signal.
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relliott66Commented:
Akamai just provides a set of caching engines worldwide and specific compression algorithms,  I'd def take a look.  I DO NOT work for them or profit in any way.  I am a client and have used them on both DoD and commercial contracts that I have consulted on.  Their DISA package is a pretty neat deal.  You should just have start up costs and no monthly fees.  I use them on a JFCOM project and may be using them on a future project for a certain company that will be building LCSes.  

One product you may want to look at is Citrix Netscaler.  Here is an older link of someone that reviewed both and also has a link to the Netscaler site:
http://geekswithblogs.net/mwatson/archive/2009/12/26/citrix_netscaler_vs_f5_bigip.aspx

I've been on projects with both and I can say I liked the F5 better personally but that may be due to familiarity and their support package was tops (at least when the client needed their support).

and one more for you:
http://www.riverbed.com/us/solutions/government/index.php

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ChiefITAuthor Commented:
Since you are the only one that responded, do you have other optimization ideas for a satellite pipe?
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relliott66Commented:
have you looked at XipLink as well?  Also, I wonder what these folks do differently:
http://www.stratosglobal.com/Products/Inmarsat/FBBPlus.aspx

Might pay to do some research into what they do and how they do it to see if it is reproduceable at your level.  Sorry that I can't help more.  If nothing else, now you have at least 3 different products to present (F5, Citrix, XipLink).
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ChiefITAuthor Commented:
Good information.. Wish I got a few more folks point of view, but this works for me. It gives me a starting point.

THANKS!!!
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relliott66Commented:
Don't think many folks have your type of problem :)  Glad I could help and lemme know what you end up picking if it isn't the F5.. Another shameless plug in here for Akamai as well.  If you do talk to them let me know who you spoke with and I can probably give you feedback.

Thanks for the points!
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