At Interop Las Vegas 2011, data center wide area network (WAN) optimization vendor Silver Peak Systems announced an integration partnership with storage vendor EMC. The first integration of the partnership will be between Silver Peak's WAN optimization technology and the EMC VPLEX Geo—a virtual storage technology that can transport data cross-country. The integration will deliver as much as a twentyfold increase in WAN capacity to enterprises, the vendors said. This can cut down on the costly bandwidth upgrades associated with supporting storage virtualization, a technology that unifies different types of storage under one storage head.
Reducing the bandwidth requirements of storage virtualization can enable private cloud computing, according to Marc Trimuschat, vice president of business development for Silver Peak. Silver Peak's WAN optimization allows users to move resources between data centers on demand at gigabit data rates.
"That's very appealing to customers moving into—if not public compute cloud yet—at least private clouds, where they're moving around resources within their data centers virtually," he said.
Silver Peak technology integration with EMC
Last year, EMC launched the VPLEX product line, including VPLEX Local and VPLEX Metro, which enable active-active storage virtualization at local and metro distances. EMC will expand its product line, not only with VPLEX Geo—supporting storage virtualization across countries—but with VPLEX Global, which will support active-active storage virtualization across the world. While EMC's VPLEX Global is not yet available and won't be for at least another year, VPLEX Geo is available as of May 10, 2011.
EMC needed to integrate WAN optimization technology with its VPLEX products in order to keep its cloud solution from adversely affecting WAN bandwidth as it spanned larger distances.
"As you stretch [a virtual storage solution] across geographical distances, there's an obvious bottleneck with latency, loss and bandwidth across the WAN," explained Trimuschat.
Silver Peak technology has been qualified, optimized and integrated with VPLEX Geo. This means the technologies have been tested and proven:
- To reduce the amount of bandwidth that EMC VPLEX Geo synchronization requires.
- To be used across lower-cost and lossy WAN links like MPLS and Internet VPNs (IVPNs).
- To accelerate applications like mobile apps.
"Between the bandwidth reduction and using lower-cost WAN links, we figure our customers can at least save 10X in terms of their WAN costs. If you were using maybe a gig link before, now you can shrink that to a 50 meg link; instead of having a dedicated, high-quality, point-to-point link and provisioning that, now you can use a lossy MPLS or IVPN line because you can make that look like the equivalent of a dedicated link with our technology," Trimuschat said.
Why Silver Peak is the only vendor for EMC VPLEX Geo
The two vendors began a partnership circa 2005 and started a resale arrangement two years ago when EMC selected Silver Peak as a WAN optimization partner for the EMC Select program—a program other WAN optimization vendors joined, including F5 and NetEx. But today, only Silver Peak's technology is applied to EMC's VPLEX line.
"We're very different from most WAN optimization companies in that others focus generally on optimizing a particular application…. We differ by optimizing applications at the IP layer. This means we can optimize pretty much anything that travels over IP, as is the case for VPLEX, other applications and migrating VMs," said Trimuschat.
Because of the long-standing partnership, Silver Peak's ability to optimize the IP layer and the vendor's position in the data center class WAN optimization market, EMC chose Silver Peak over other WAN optimization vendors.
Companies can future-proof their networks this way, Trimuchat said. "Our 'all apps' approach to optimize, not just VPLEX Geo, but any storage solutions or application running over the WAN, makes us very unique," he said.