Network admins may be from Venus and storage admins may be from Mars, but there is no doubt that as data and storage converge, they will need each other. One of the fundamental benefits of virtualization is the ability to move VMs from location to location, even over a WAN. That has driven storage networking vendors to support data replication and transmission over a wide area. However, storage protocols can consume lots of bandwidth and need fast interconnects--two requirements that WAN optimization may be able to help with. However, storage systems are closed to all but a few select vendors. Silver Peak's recent global reseller partnership announce with Hitachi Data Systems gives HDS a way to optimize storage networking and opens Silver Peak to HDS customers.
Unlike in networking, storage networking is limited to an approved equipment list supported by a vendor or VAR. If you put unapproved equipment in the storage fabric and there are problems, the first thing you will need to do is remove it. Getting on to the approved equipment list means the vendor or VAR will support it in place. For Silver Peak, getting on Hitachi Data System's global reseller list opens up Silver Peak to a number of sale opportunities they might not have otherwise.
Silver Peak's entire product line has been certified by HDS to work with the storage company's Universal Storage Platform V, Advanced Modular Storage, and HDS's SAN and NAS replication software. The certification goes beyond a reseller agreement. It means that HDS can offer storage designs that include deduplication and ensure that the product is properly installed and integrated.
Representatives point out that reseller agreements like this one point to a shift in how storage networking companies are viewing deduplication. Network deduplication was often used only to solve a particular problem like low bandwidth or long delays when transferring data over a WAN. However, storage networking vendors, and more importantly their VARs and integrators are seeing the benefit of WAN optimization to general networking than just optimizing storage over the LAN or WAN.
Other WAN optimization vendors are following a similar strategy in going after storage vendor certification and we can expect to see more announcements like this from both storage networking vendors and WAN optimization vendors particularly in use cases such as disaster recovery and private cloud computing.