Making WAN Optimization More Accessible

Michael Vizard

In the last few months, we've seen the rise of virtual appliances that allow IT organizations to eliminate the need for many physical appliances. Most notably, companies such Riverbed Technology have been inviting companies to deploy their offerings as virtual appliances that can run on top of a physical Riverbed appliance.

But the folks at Certeon are arguing that the concept of a dedicated appliance for wide area network (WAN) optimization is itself obsolete given that this function can now be performed on the latest generation of multicore standard servers using a software-only approach.

Certeon CTO Donato Bucella argues that IT organizations need the flexibility of a software-only approach that can easily be deployed on any VMware, Microsoft Hyper-V, Citrix Xen or Red Hat KVM virtual machine software.

This approach not only makes WAN optimization more affordable, he said, it should also expand the reach of WAN optimization software. There are more latency-sensitive applications than ever on the Web. But most IT organizations have not been able to address the requirements of many of these applications because of the costs associated with acquiring and managing WAN optimization appliances.

As cloud computing evolves, Bucella also notes that an appliance model isn't going to scale to meet the performance requirements of these types of applications. So when all is said and done, Bucella says that the days of WAN optimization appliances in the enterprise are already numbered.
 



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Sep 28, 2010 5:09 PM Anonymous Anonymous  says:
Maybe next time make sure you are better informed on what the competition is doing. With Riverbed's Virtual Steelhead appliances, WAN optimization can now extend to deployments where physical hardware may not be conveniently suited. Military deployments typically use ruggedized custom hardware, on which running a virtual machine is more convenient. Space limited scenarios, such as mobile news vans or construction trailers may also require a form-factor that is free from the physical limitations of hardware appliances. The Virtual Steelhead appliance can be managed by industry standard virtualization tools such that it fits seamlessly into fully virtualized Data Center environments, where interoperability with existing management infrastructure is a must have. While targeted specifically for the above mentioned scenarios, the Virtual Steelhead appliances can also be deployed as a cluster, in order to scale to data center environments. Reply
Sep 28, 2010 6:09 PM TechJane TechJane  says:
>Maybe next time make sure you are better informed on what the >competition is doing. With Riverbed's Virtual Steelhead appliances I think you need to be better informed. You can't buy a Virtual Appliance from Riverbed today. It is not released. Also when it does, it won't be ready for prime time. It is a me too attempt. As Riverbed's CTO states (http://edge.networkworld.com/news/2010/081610-riverbed-ceo-talks-wan.html) it is intended to fill "edge cases". No other vendor other than Certeon can deploy TODAY a full software solution that performs and scales and runs in multiple hypervisor's or pure software. Reply
Sep 28, 2010 6:09 PM TechJane TechJane  says:

>Maybe next time make sure you are better informed on what the >competition is doing.

With Riverbed's Virtual Steelhead appliances I think you need to be better informed. You can't buy a Virtual Appliance from Riverbed today. It is not released. Also when it does, it won't be ready for prime time. It is a me too attempt. As Riverbed's CTO states () it is intended to fill "edge cases".

No other vendor other than Certeon can deploy TODAY a full software solution that performs and scales and runs in multiple hypervisor's or pure software.

Reply
Sep 28, 2010 7:18 PM Anonymous Anonymous  says: in response to TechJane
I think you are referring to our CEO not CTO and yes we will have the virtual version out soon. Reply
Sep 28, 2010 8:09 PM Apurva Dave Apurva Dave  says:
The value of a virtual appliance is limited by the value of the software within the container. If you want to buy a WAN optimization product, you probably care not only what the form factor is (ie, physical, virtual, or mobile software) but HOW WELL it actually optimizes the traffic you manage. The reason that Riverbed has the largest market share (40%, according to Gartner's AP WOC category) is that we deliver the best optimization across a broad range of applications that enterprises care about, and at the same time we make it easy to integrate that into networks. This is true for our virtual appliance (available now), our physical appliance, and our mobile software. Reply
Sep 28, 2010 10:09 PM Scott Smith Scott Smith  says:
WAN optimization is still way over-priced for most organizations. In fact, the whole notion of allowing a box to manage LAN-WAN traffic is ceding management responsibility. An Internet link is a finite resource to support business processes and operations. Most congestion issues arise from undisciplined user antics. In order to get the most benefits overall, with a minimal amount input and cost, simple monitoring can accomplish WAN optimization without having to drop an appliance, virtual or otherwise, into the mix. Reply

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