Silver Peak Unveils Data Center-Class Virtual WAN Appliances

WAN optimization appliance vendor Silver Peak this week unveiled what it called the first data center-class virtual WAN appliance.

The company also said it has enhanced the software of its WAN optimization appliance line with improved dedupe performance, new management dashboards, and support for Microsoft's Hyper-V for use in virtualized branch offices.

Silver Peak's new VRX-8 is the first virtual WAN optimization appliance to deliver 1-Gbps performance, said Larry Cormier, senior vice president of worldwide marketing for the Santa Clara, Calif.-based vendor.

"In the last six months, several vendors have announced virtual WAN appliances," Cormier said. "But so far, they've been targeting only the lower-end part of their portfolio because of the performance of virtual machines (vs. physical appliances)."

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The VRX-8, on the other hand, leverages up to eight logical co-processors, such as eight single-core or four dual-core processors, for performance.

The result is end-to-end 1-Gbps throughput to support enterprise data center functionality such as SAN and NAS storage replication as well as disaster recovery, he said.

The VRX-8 is built using VMware ESX server virtualization technology, Cormier said. "Microsoft Hyper-V doesn't have the performance capabilities of VMware yet," he said.

The new VRX-8 virtual WAN optimization appliance is a great alternative for customers either looking to build cloud computing infrastructures or working across international borders, said Patrick Mulvee, vice president of sales and marketing at Sidepath, an Irvine, Calif.-based solution provider and Silver Peak partner.

Sidepath has already implemented a couple of the virtual appliances, including for a customer with offices in Irvine and India which is also using a cloud computing partner in Seattle, Mulvee said.

"We've deployed one appliance in Seattle, and one in India, and will also deploy one in Irvine," he said. "This allows them to deploy faster to the cloud. In the past, if a customer needs to do a WAN in a place like India, it would take weeks to ship the hardware and get it through customers."

The customer is excited about the technology, Mulvee said. "They couldn't do it any other way," he said. "Cloud providers just want to provide virtual servers. They don't want physical gear coming."

The Silver Peak VRX-8 virtual appliance is slated to be in general availability next month with a list price of $69,995. Cormier said an equivalent 1-Gbps physical WAN appliance is priced around $200,000.

Next: Enhancements To Silver Peak's WAN Optimization Software

In addition to the new VRX-8 virtual WAN optimization appliance, Silver Peak also unveiled enhancements to its WAN software.

Those enhancements include a 50 percent increase in deduplication performance for cutting the amount of data sent across the WAN, and a new management dashboard which provides deep dives on packets going across the WAN for use in managing quality of service performance, Cormier said.

On the branch office side of WAN optimization, Silver Peak also added support for Microsoft Hyper-V virtual environments. The company previously support VMware ESX and ESXi environments.

Silver Peak expects to also roll out support for Citrix and KVM virtualization over time.

Cormier said this is important because virtualization has become an important technology in the midrange.

"Some customers use VMware, some use Hyper-V, some use other technologies," he said. "We want to support all customers in the midrange."