Silver Peak announced on Tuesday version 4.0 of its operating system and a new virtual appliance for data center replication. Silver Peak's VRX-8 is a virtual WAN optimization appliance built on VMWare ESX and targeted at applications that require data center replication, such as business continuity. The appliance offers a whopping throughput of 1 Gbits/s, the highest claimed rate for any virtual appliance and includes support for popular Storage Area Network (SAN) and Network Attached Storage (NAS) replication applications.
WAN optimizers improve application performance by using various techniques to reduce the amount of data sent over the WAN. Silver Peak has distinguished itself from competing solutions by working at layer three - the IP layer. Competing solution works at layer four - the TCP layer. This enables Silver Peak to accelerate UDP-based protocols, SIP for example. It also protects the Silver Peak from application layer protocol changes that might require changes to the layer 4 interface.
"Silver Peak was instrumental to the success of our international data center build-out," said Mahmoud Harb, Site Operations Manager at CareerBuilder, a Silver Peak customer. With SilverPeak appliances, CareerBuilder "avoided a major WAN upgrade that saved our company hundreds of thousands of dollars in the first few months alone."
Virtual WAN optimizers have added advantages. There's no equipment to ship so they're particularly attractive for hard-to-get to sites, such as overseas offices. Updates and upgrades can also be deployed remotely without any staff intervention in the branch saving time and money, and making it far easier to keep these optimization protocols up to speed.
Today, virtual WAN optimizers can be purchased from Blue Coat, Certeon, NetEx, Riverbed and Silver Peak. The company first entered the virtual WAN optimization space back in June when it announced the VX family of virtual WAN optimizers - VX-1000, VX-2000, VX-3000 and VX-5000. Those products though were targeted at customers looking at fan-out architectures - where IT needs to accelerate the connections between the data center and multiple branch offices. With the 4.0 upgrade, the VX family can run 8,000 simultaneous sessions across a four Mbits/s connection. By contrast, the VRX-8 is limited to just 1,000 simultaneous flows, reflecting the fact that it's intended for site-to-site replication.