Silver Peak Opens Up WAN Acceleration

WAN Optimization vendor Silver Peak Systems is opening up its technology with a new strategy called the Virtual Acceleration Open Architecture (VXOA).

VXOA leverages Silver Peak’s WAN optimization technology to deliver a virtual version that can be tightly integrated with other solutions, by way of an open API and a software development kit (SDK).

“What VXOA is about is the availability of Silver Peak WAN optimization software running on any hypervisor or server platform or as an embedded virtual machine in a third party product,” Rick Tinsley, president and CEO of Silver Peak told

Tinsley added that Silver Peak doesn’t have a vested interest in pushing hardware, though they do have appliances as well. By having the API and the SDK, Tinsley noted that Silver Peak is going beyond a simple reseller approach for WAN optimization with VXOA

“This is not just the resale of a product that sits beside the host product, it’s actually integrated,” Tinsley said. “This will be a feature in a larger product, whether that’s a storage array or a router that comes pre-bundles with a WAN optimization appliance.”

Having the solution already integrated is why an SDK is needed. According to Tinsley, many of Silver Peak’s partners don’t want to just resell a product, they want to integrate it and make it part of their product. That said, Silver Peak does have standalone physical and virtual appliances that can be resold without the need for integration as well.

By embedding Silver Peak as a feature of a larger product, the company runs the risk of not exposing their brand as much as when the product is sold as a standalone appliance. Tinsley commented that he doesn’t care about attribution as his company is the challenger in the market against larger vendors like Cisco and Riverbed.

“When we say you can run Silver Peak on anything, that doesn’t mean you have to give us attribution,” Tinsley said. “You have to pay us for the product, this isn’t free software but it can be an embedded feature in a third party product, potentially without any mention of Silver Peak whatsoever.”

From a performance perspective, Silver Peak recently announced a new top-end device with the NX-10K. The NX 10k has four 10 GbE interfaces and promises at least 2.5 Gbps of WAN throughput. On the virtual side, Silver Peak does not yet have a virtualized version of the NX-10K yet, though it has been able to virtualize its other hardware appliances.

The secret to Silver Peak’s ability to virtualize most of its platforms has to do in part with their use of Linux.

“Since we started, we’ve shipped all of our hardware with standard components with a standard Linux based operating system,” Tinsley said. “That’s why it has been relatively straightforward for us to virtualize our technology, we didn’t have rewrite our code or port it to a different OS; If you can run on Linux on standard hardware, you can run on VMware.”

As to a virtual version of the NX-10K, Tinsley said that there is nothing fundamentally that is stopping Silver Peak from virtualizing that platform.

“As the hypervisor gain in performance, you’ll see building larger and higher performance virtual versions of the physical appliances that we build,” Tinsley said.

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at, the news service of, the network for technology professionals.

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