Silver Peak Velocity Aims to Ease Network Storage Acceleration

 It hasn't always been all that ease for storage user to benefit from WAN acceleration, but that could soon change.

By Sean Michael Kerner | Posted Sep 27, 2012
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One of the key use cases for WAN optimization and acceleration is NAS storage replication. It's a use case that WAN optimization vendor Silver Peak knows well, though it hasn't always been easy to actually implement.

This week Silver Peak launched its Velocity initiative in an effort to make it easier and faster for storage replication users to benefit from WAN optimization. Silver Peak Velocity initially is being targeted at NetApp SnapMirror users, though other replication systems will be supported in future releases.

"We have had a strong track record of optimizing storage replication for our customers, but traditionally that has required some co-operation between the storage and networking folks," Rick Tinsley, CEO of Silver Peak Systems told EnterpriseNetworkingPlanet . "With Velocity we're enabling autonomous usage by the storage department."

Silver Peak has a portfolio of hardware and software appliances for WAN optimization. Prior to Velocity, a Silver Peak appliance would have to be custom configured with scripts to properly enable acceleration for storage mirroring.

With Velocity, Silver Peak is delivering a pre-configured and optimized software appliance that is all about accelerating storage replication. Tinsley explained that configuration is as simple as pointing the SnapMirror systems at both ends of the replication path, to Silver Peak Velocity instances.

The Velocity system leverages Silver Peak's Virtual Acceleration Open Architecture (VXOA)that was first announced in July of 2011. Tinsley explained that his company is always making improvements to VXOA and Velocity is based on the same core code.

Velocity is actually a stripped down version of the general market VXOA technology, in that it is focused on storage replication acceleration for a specific storage vendor technology. VXOA technology in general is not as specific and is able to optimize nearly any type of traffic.

As a result of being a somewhat smaller appliance, Silver Peak has also discounted the price of Velocity relative to its other VXOA based software appliances. The initial Velocity offering includes a pair of Silver Peak VX-5000 virtual appliances at list price of just under $16,000. The VX-5000 is Silver Peak's entry level virtual appliance that has a per appliance capacity of 50 Mbps. In Tinsley's view, the capacity provided by the pair of VX-5000's in a Velocity deployment is sufficient for most network attached storage (NAS) deployments.

"The category of apps we're focused on with Velocity is NAS replication," Tinsley said. " These techniques don't work as well for high-end SAN replication applications; this is more for the NAS market which spans all the way to SMB to very large enterprises."

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at InternetNews.com, the news service of the IT Business Edge Network, the network for technology professionals Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.

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