Silver Peak Scales Up WAN Optimizers

Startup takes aim at data centers with 1-Gbit/s WAN optimization

May 19, 2008

3 Min Read
Network Computing logo

WAN optimization vendor Silver Peak bulked up its high-end hardware today, touting its first WAN acceleration product capable of gigabit-per-second speeds.

The vendor has unveiled its NX-9000 device, as part of a strategy it first introduced last year.

This supports up to 1-Gbit/s WAN throughput and 4-Gbit/s LAN throughput,” says Jeff Aaron, Silver Peak’s vice president of marketing, explaining that users are desperate to speed up WAN traffic for the likes of SAN replication.

The exec says that the 3-rack-unit-high device can shift data at 1-Gbit/s speeds while supporting TCP optimization, quality of service, compression, and data reduction, although these figures are based on Silver Peak’s own internal testing.

The vendor’s previous high-end device, the NX-8000, could handle 500 Mbit/s of WAN throughput and 2-Gbit/s LAN throughput.Users looking for the faster speeds will have to dig deep into their pockets: The NX-9000 is priced at $259,995, double the NX-8000’s list price of $129,995.

"This isn't for an SMB; this is for those large data centers that have huge bandwidth concerns between their data centers," says Bob Laliberte, an analyst at Enterprise Strategy Group. "The more that they can fit down that same pipe, without having to expand and go to the next size [connection] up, that will be a huge advantage to users."

Silver Peak has the edge on at least two of its rivals. Riverbed's top-of-the-line 6020 and 6120 have a throughput of 310 Mbit/s, and Juniper's maximum throughput for a specially configured "stack" of its WXC devices is 155 Mbit/s. Riverbed and Juniper claim figures of 800 Mbit/s and 840 Mbit/s, respectively, for their offerings running with some features turned off.

“I can definitely say that we’re continuing to scale up with our products,” says Apurva Davé, Riverbed’s director of product marketing, adding that not all users are crying out for a 1-Gbit/s WAN optimization box. “Many of our customers achieve those types of results through clustering, which lets them grow as they need; they don’t have to over-buy with one single box.”

Cisco does not publish throughput figures for its WAE 7371 on its Website, although a spokeswoman told Byte and Switch that, like the NX-9000, the device can handle 1 Gbit/s with features such as compression and caching turned on. Silver Peak nonetheless has the edge on Cisco in terms of LAN throughput -- at least by its own tests -- with the WAE 7371 only capable of handling data up to 1.5 Gbit/s.Enterprise Strategy Group's Laliberte thinks it's only a matter of time before other WAN optimization vendors push the 1-Gbit/s envelope.

"I would not be at all surprised if they all get up to that speed," he says, explaining that users are paying top dollar to deploy OC-48 and OC-192 links between their data centers. "In a lot of these large corporations you see the size of the pipes between the data centers getting larger and larger, so the ability to optimize and compress data becomes critical."

Despite all Silver Peak’s marketing spiel, the vendor was unable to serve up any early adopters that are currently using the NX-9000, although Aaron says that beta tests will begin during the summer. A limited number of NX-9000s will be available in August with general availability sometime after that, he explains.

Have a comment on this story? Please click "Discuss" below. If you'd like to contact Byte and Switch's editors directly, send us a message.

  • Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO)

  • Enterprise Strategy Group (ESG)

  • Juniper Networks Inc. (Nasdaq: JNPR)

  • Riverbed Technology Inc. (Nasdaq: RVBD)

  • Silver Peak Systems Inc.0

Stay informed! Sign up to get expert advice and insight delivered direct to your inbox

You May Also Like

More Insights