Silver Peak Expands WAN Optimization for the Cloud Era

Since 2004, WAN optimization vendor Silver Peak has been building hardware and software technologies to improve and accelerate traffic. This week, the company announced its latest innovation, Unity, which aims to improve WAN and enterprise network optimization for the cloud era.

Silver Peak has been busy in recent years, announcing a number of different projects geared towards advancing the state of WAN optimization. In 2012, Silver Peak announced its Agility and Velocity WAN optimization initiatives.

“Unity differs from Agility and Velocity in both focus and scope,” Damon Ennis, SVP of products at Silver Peak, told Enterprise Networking Planet.

Ennis explained that Agility integrates WAN Optimization at the management layer (VSphere) of a virtual network (specifically, NSX), providing point-and-click optimization at the virtual application level. Velocity is a set of products (VRX) and go-to-market programs focused on SAN/NAS replication for storage buyers. As such, Ennis noted that both Agility and Velocity are subsets of the “traditional” WAN optimization market.

“Unity is different. Instead of a subset of the WAN Op market, the Unity architecture provides a much larger available market (SaaS, IaaS) immediately and lays a foundation for the new WAN, a mix of MPLS, Internet, and cloud connectivity,” Ennis said.

The Unity fabric can be enabled within the Silver Peak Virtual Acceleration Open Architecture (VXOA) version 7 release. Silver Peak originally launched VXOA in 2011 as its software architecture platform.

“VXOA remains the name for the Silver Peak OS,” Ennis said. “Unity is a vision statement and architecture for customers who must make the inevitable transition to SaaS and IaaS while maintaining visibility and control over their network and applications.”

A key part of the Unity fabric is a subscription cloud intelligence service. Ennis explained that the cloud intelligence maintains the address book for SaaS services, including information on which data centers and subnets power each SaaS service.

“Congestion/latency/loss information are determined on a Unity-instance by Unity-instance basis in real time and shared among the instances over the Unity fabric,” Ennis said.

Going a step further, Silver Peak Unity Fabric has an Advanced Exterior WAN Routing capability. Ennis noted that Advanced Exterior WAN Routing is the component that determines the optimal Unity fabric egress point for each SAAS service.

“Advanced Interior WAN Routing is the component that determines the optimal path through the Unity fabric between any given instances,” Ennis said.

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at Enterprise Networking Planet and Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.

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