Because of the proliferation of cloud services available to enterprises, data no longer flows in predictable paths between known physical locations, drastically complicating the already difficult process of controlling and optimizing network traffic.
WAN optimization provider Silver Peak announced on Wednesday the release of Unity, an intelligent wide area network fabric designed to tackle that challenge by monitoring "Internet weather" and dynamically routing traffic on an optimal path.
"It is new software and a new subscription offering, and when we put these things together we’re able to build this fabric that unites enterprise WAN in a way that people haven’t done before," David Hughes, Silver Peak's CEO, told CRN.
"It’s providing a map of the Internet to show the best path to any Internet service," Hughes said.
Enterprises in the past invested in WANs to connect physical locations, Hughes said.
The abundance of new SaaS and IaaS offerings available to businesses, however, means that instead of having traffic just running between physical locations, a lot of traffic is running from the enterprise, to the cloud, to third-party applications and then back again.
"High-priority, high-volume traffic now is coming from the cloud, leaving the CIO with a lot of unsolved problems about how to control and monitor and optimize that traffic," Hughes said, adding, "a lot of tools for the past are no longer applicable to this new class of traffic."
The new service Unity introduced to tackle this dilemma is called Cloud Intelligence. It aggregates information about cloud providers from every Silver Peak instance installed on the fabric throughout data centers, branch offices and cloud interconnection hubs.
Silver Peak, based in Santa Clara, is a 100 percent channel company, and the new offering was conceived with the company's partners in mind, Hughes said.
The network overlay software goes beyond controlling and accelerating traffic through encryption, compression and error-correction protocols. It also gives CIOs and solution providers full visibility into the enterprise's cloud-driven network, including shadow IT applications they might not know about, as it dynamically routes traffic.
"One of the things about Unity is we think it offers an interesting angle for channel partners who really want to step up and help their customers solve a big problem today, which is shadow IT," Hughes said.
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