I've long been a fan of XML Appliances. Looks like IBM customers like the appliance idea as well. IBM said that DataPower was one of the top-selling products and also announced that DataPower-lution is one of their strategic directions for 2009. Basically, more and more edge functions will be moving into the appliance. And why not use the same device for XML acceleration, load balancing, crypto acceleration, caching, perhaps even WebSEAL replacement (it's just a fancy reverse proxy after all). We'll see how this vision plays out.
In a related news, there is finally a DataPower book and it's 960 pages long. And this is before IBM started adding all these edge functions to the device :).