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Hipskind Technology Solutions Group, a Hinsdale, Ill.-based solution provider, also came to Certeon while seeking WAN optimization complements for its EqualLogic business. Wally Lang, Hipskind's general manager, said adding Certeon to many of the storage-led deployment Hipskind does with EqualLogic has opened up more market opportunities for Hipskind, particularly in the midmarket.
"It's not a physical rip-and-replace upgrade -- it's virtualization-based -- and it's pretty straightforward," he said.
As the price of bandwidth connectivity comes down, businesses of smaller and smaller size are able to move much more data around using that connectivity, Lang said. That means that WAN optimization and acceleration technologies are no longer sought only by large enterprises -- it's small and midmarket businesses that are consuming more of their IT as-a-service and able to afford things like disaster recovery and business continuity products.
Lang said that a vendor like Certeon is right to design its program specifically with VAR profitability in mind given how competitive the WAN op space is.
"The guaranteed margin is really unlike any others I've seen because you just don't get guaranteed a big margin that's going to be healthy for a VAR," he said.
Along with Certeon and a host of other competitors, solution providers have also embraced Silver Peak Networks, which is growing its sales behind a 100 percent channel-only strategy.
Silver Peak, currently embroiled with Riverbed in a patent dispute, still does about 80 percent of its WAN optimization revenue in physical devices, but sees that balance shifting to 50 percent physical and 50 percent virtual products as early as next year, said Larry Cormier, senior vice president of worldwide marketing.
"Virtual appliances make it easier for us to dial up the amount of performance a customer wants," Cormier told CRN. "A lot of competitors still claim that a physical appliance will always outperform a virtual appliance, but we're all riding Moore's Law. You can always throw more cores at it to do more de-duplication, or throw more storage at it."
Silver Peak in mid-July launched a new WAN optimization platform, the Virtual Acceleration Open Architecture (VXOA), which adds a software development kit, API and flexible pricing options to its existing NX, VX and VRX Wan optimization products. The goal, according to Silver Peak, is to make its WAN optimization tools a lot more flexible with third party servers, blades, storage arrays and routers to fit comfortably in virtualized environments.
VXOA is offered as subscription, pay-as-you-go licensing starting at $1,600 for one year, as well as an investment protection option where customers pay the difference between smaller and larger licenses -- rather than the full larger-license fee -- as they upgrade their appliances.