Special Coverage Series

Network Computing

Special Coverage Series

Aryaka Cloud Network Targets Distributed Enterprises

Network as-a-Service aims to speed up cloud services access; HP updates Flexible Series thin clients; HotLink offers VMware DR via Amazon; Veeam accelerates WANs with backups; Schneider adds virtual KVM to DCIM.

Aryaka officially launched its Cloud Network as a service, aimed at simplifying access to public and private cloud services such as Amazon Web Services, Google Apps and Office 365.

The Cloud Network is connected globally through a network of 25 data centers with multisegment TCP optimization and integrated QoS. Like Aryaka's WAN Optimization as a service, the Network as a service connects users to the geographically closest point of presence (POP), rather than the data center closest to the organization’s headquarters. This streamlines user-to-application requests. The new service makes use of the same underlying infrastructure as Aryaka’s WAN optimization, including TCP optimization, but does not include all of the application acceleration features.

Aryaka says the Cloud Network is designed to help enterprises with distributed offices, which would normally have to traverse the public Internet to access services such as Office 365 or AWS at a single data center, and that more than 95% of the world’s enterprise business users are within 20 milliseconds from any of its POPs.

Founded in 2008 with a focus on cloud-based WAN optimization, Aryaka expanded into application delivery last fall and has found itself going head-to-head with entrenched vendors such as Riverbed.

Peter Christy, research director of 451 Research networking practice, says Aryaka’s Cloud Network is an example of how enterprises “can build as much IT as they want without building any IT.” With the advent of cloud computing, it’s no longer necessary to physically purchase computing networking resources, he says, and over time the network-as-a-service model could prove increasingly popular as it gives enterprises the ability to pay for only what they need in the same way they do now for other cloud services.

Aryaka’s Cloud Network is a natural extension of its WAN optimization capabilities, given that most of the challenges WAN acceleration encounters are found in the long-haul segment of a network, Christy adds.

[Read how Singapore-based Petredec uses Aryaka's cloud-based WAN optimization in "WAN Optimization Improves Videoconferencing At Shipping Firm."]

He says it will take time for network as a service to become mainstream. In the meantime, vendors such as Cisco and Riverbed will find themselves selling fewer boxes that sit on the edge of a network and selling the same functions as a cloud-based service. The inherent challenges of managing networks such as acceleration, optimization and security aren’t changing, says Christy; what’s changing is how these challenges are addressed.

Right now, Aryaka is a leader in an emerging market, Christy says, but over time it will see more competition as other established network vendors begin to provide network infrastructure as a service and organizations see less value in managing their own networks.

HP Introduces New Thin Client

HP released its t820 Flexible Series Thin Client, which the company said is eight times faster than its predecessor, the t610. It's available with either an Intel Core i5 or Intel Pentium processor to handle multiple applications simultaneously and control large amounts of data. The new line of thin clients also includes HP Velocity network performance management software to improve user experience through better network utilization, and can support three large monitors with an AMD Radeon HD 7650A MXM graphics card.

In addition to touting the t820’s processor and graphics performance, HP also emphasized its security capabilities, which target organizations in sectors such as financial trading, engineering, military and government. The t820 incorporates enterprise-level security with fiber-optic networking, Intel vPro technology and BIOS implemented to NIST guidelines.

HP’s Flexible Series also includes the less powerful t510; the company has a line of mobile thin clients aimed at telecommuters and on-campus mobile workers, which like the Flexible Series, run Windows Embedded. Thin client competitor Dell recently unveiled the fan-less and disk-less Wyse D90Q7 and Z90Q7, high-performance, quad-core thin clients based on Windows Embedded; they're designed for a broad range of desktop virtualization environments, including Citrix, Dell, Microsoft and VMware.

HP also updated the HP WS460c Gen8 Graphics Server Blade with new NVIDIA GRID GPUs optimized for virtual environments, which supports multiple virtualized graphics users per blade. Dell Wyse also supports NVIDIA GRID in its desktop virtualization offerings.

HotLink Launches VM DR On AWS

HotLink has unveiled a plug-in for VMware vCenter that uses Amazon Web Services to protect data residing on VMware vSphere virtual machines. HotLink DR Express enables IT administrators to automatically recover to a disaster recovery site within AWS minutes after a failure, the company says, for the same price of a standard, slower restoration of a VM from a cloud provider using basic backup or replication.

HotLink DR Express allows enterprises to use VMware vCenter to establish a disaster recovery site on AWS without purchasing any additional hardware. Users can choose which VMs to protect and set up as many as 500 restore points. They can also opt for restoration on-premise or to a VMware vCloud provider. Other features of DR Express include integrated monitoring and continuous testing so users can easily see the status of all protected workloads for any restore point, as well as the ability to build recovery plans on VCenter-compatible tools such as PowerCLI and Orchestrator.

HotLink’s launch of DR Express comes just a few months after VMware announced plans to launch its own public cloud to take on Amazon, Rackspace and others in the infrastructure-as-a-service space with its Hybrid Cloud Services business unit.

Veeam Adds WAN Acceleration To Backup

Veeam Backup & Replication Version 7 now includes built-in WAN acceleration and backup from storage snapshots functionality. The company said the integrated WAN acceleration for Veeam backups speeds up copying 50 times faster than a regular file copy. WAN acceleration and storage snapshots are available in a new “Enterprise Plus” edition of Veeam Backup and Replication v7; the company also offers free, standard and enterprise editions. The WAN acceleration feature uses source data deduplication so that blocks already copied from one site to another are not sent over the network again during subsequent backups.

The Backup from Storage Snapshots is aimed at improving recovery point objectives and supporting frequent backups, including for I/O-intensive virtual machines. The feature was developed with HP and works with HP StoreVirtual VSA, HP StoreVirtual (LeftHand, P4000) and HP StoreServ (3PAR).

Peter Williams, practice leader for IT infrastructure management at Bloor Research, noted that Veeam has achieved “fantastic growth” by carving out its own niche market for data protection. The company has focused specifically on two leading hypervisors, VMware and Hyper-V, while ignoring non-virtual environments, where vendors such as EMC, CA and Symantec are entrenched, notes Williams

Schneider Debuts Virtual KVM

Schneider Electric announced what it claims to be the first data center infrastructure management (DCIM) tool that provides server access without requiring any additional hardware by using Intel’s Virtual Gateway technology. The new module for Schneider’s StruxureWare Data Center Operation product combines a virtual keyboard and mouse (vKVM) and DCIM into single suite, giving enterprises full server lifecycle access and power cycling for remote management, eliminating the need for KVM switches in the data center.

One of the main goals of the new tool is to improve energy efficiency, the company says. The module allows IT staff to control servers directly from the DCIM software, including power cycling. A single console view also includes details of the physical location of each server for better identification of potential power or cooling issues. It also allows for viewing, configuring and controlling devices from multiple vendors securely through one console. The tool can also connect to operating systems with RDP, SSH or VNC.

The DCIM space is a crowded one, according to a recent IDC report, but it placed Schneider Electric in its Leaders category for 2013, along with CA Technologies and Emerson Network Power. According to the research firm, other major players include Cormant, FieldView Solutions, iTRACS, Nlyte Software, Panduit and Raritan.

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