As enterprises expand their use of the cloud, they need cloud-based options for application delivery.
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At AWS re:Invent, Amazon Web Services' recent IT conference, several WAN optimization and application delivery controller (ADC) vendors announced advanced cloud optimization capabilities for deployment within AWS.
WAN optimization and application delivery vendors have traditionally helped their customers move workloads from their data centers to branch offices, but now enterprises want to tap those same technologies for cloud optimization.
"Whether [users] are trying to accelerate an application to a data center or to a cloud environment, they need optimization services to their cloud provider, and want consistency associated with using the same vendor across all environments," said Andre Kindness, senior analyst at Cambridge, Mass.-based Forrester Research Inc.
Vendors offer cloud optimization for AWS
Silver Peak Systems Inc. introduced Virtual Acceleration Open Architecture (VXOA) version 6.0, its data acceleration software that now enables virtualization, said Rick Tinsley, CEO at the Santa Clara, Calif.-based company. Application administrators will now be able to quickly deploy a Silver Peak virtual machine within the Amazon cloud, and accelerate data and applications provisioned to the public cloud with VXOA 6.0, he said.
Customers will be able to integrate public cloud services -- like Amazon's -- into their infrastructure with VXOA 6.0, which offers the same optimization benefits as its on-premises counterparts, allowing the cloud to be an "an extension of the enterprise's own data center," Tinsley said. "Just as enterprises have WAN optimization in their data center to optimize applications between branch offices, customers want to be able to deploy virtual WAN optimization within Amazon environments to support these workloads as well," said Dave Bartoletti, senior analyst at Forrester.
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Riverbed Technology Inc., a San Francisco-based WAN optimization vendor, and Seattle-based application delivery company, F5 Networks Inc., also announced cloud optimization offerings for AWS. F5 has created a virtual edition of its Big IP ADC -- the vendor's flagship platform for application delivery services -- within the AWS marketplace. The new release will provide users with advanced traffic management, global server load-balancing, application firewalling and Web application acceleration for deployment within AWS and across hybrid cloud models, according to F5.
Riverbed has introduced several virtualized offerings to the AWS marketplace, including Cloud Steelhead for WAN optimization, Whitewater cloud storage gateways for data replication, and Riverbed Stingray for application delivery and Web content optimization across Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) and Amazon Virtual Private Cloud (VPC) environments, Riverbed said.
Evolving enterprises need cloud optimization
Offering support for Amazon cloud environments is a logical starting point for traditional WAN optimization or application delivery vendors as they continue to support their evolving customer base, Forrester's Bartoletti said. "Users can run virtual appliances in any cloud, but being a part of the marketplace will make it easier for customers to buy. It's not necessarily a large technical advance [for vendors] to be a part of the Amazon marketplace, it's just easier for customers," he said. "Users won't have to set up or configure their optimization tools for their Amazon instances with Silver Peak, Riverbed and F5 in the Amazon marketplace. With just a couple of clicks, [users] can order these tools and have everything set up easily," he added.
But cloud optimization won't just stop at Amazon.
While the cloud provider is the largest Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) platform used by enterprises today, application performance vendors will be offering support down the road for other IaaS providers as the market demands -- like Rackspace US Inc., AT&T and Hewlett-Packard Inc. -- Forrester's Kindness said.
As enterprises look to cloud services other than Amazon, and cloud providers further develop their offerings for business use, application delivery and WAN optimization tools are making the cloud more enterprise-ready, Kindness said. Cloud providers will be tapping vendors -- like Silver Peak, Riverbed and F5 -- for the networking pieces in making sure their portfolios are well-stocked in order to help customers overcome any remaining hesitation with the cloud, he added.