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Silver Peak releases software-only WAN optimization

WAN optimization can be deployed on any standard x86 hardware

Silver Peak Systems today released a software-only edition of its WAN optimization product that will allow users and vendors to deploy it on a variety of hardware and hypervisors, from virtualized blade servers to storage area networks (SAN).

Additionally, Silver Peak announced a partnership agreement with telecom company Avaya, through which its Silver Peak VX family of virtual WAN optimization appliances can reside as a module with the Avaya Secure Router 4134. The server module also supports dedicated CPU, memory and storage, allowing the Silver Peak virtual WAN optimization appliance to operate independently of the Avaya SR 4134 routing platform.

Silver Peak said its new Virtual Acceleration Open Architecture (VXOA) software comes with a flexible subscription-based pricing model that enables users to deploy WAN optimization more conveniently, said Rick Tinsley, Silver Peak president and CEO.

Silver Peak has not changed the underlying software that is used on all of its WAN optimization appliances , but it has add a new software development kit (SDK), an application programming interface (API) and new pricing options.

"Unlike traditional competitors clinging to fixed and custom hardware, we're unbundling WAN optimization, and that allows customers to choose the way they'd like to deploy it," Tinsley said.

Silver Peak's WAN Optimization software uses protocol acceleration techniques, reducing network "chattines," including the adjustment of TCP window sizes andselective TCP acknowledgements. It also uses quality of service techniques to prioritize traffic.

By unbundling the product, the VXOA software can be tightly integrated with third-party hardware, including stand-alone x86 servers, blades, storage arrays and routers.

Silver Peak already has a partnership agreement with EMC , which uses its WAN optimization software on its VPLEX cloud storage appliance to reduce bandwidth requirements for replicating data between SANs over distance.

"Historically, WAN optimization has been about making email run faster in branch offices and other relatively trivial end-user applications. We saw a bigger and more strategic opportunity for optimizing things like major data center replication apps," Tinsley said.

Lucas Mearian covers storage, disaster recovery and business continuity, financial services infrastructure and health care IT for Computerworld. Follow Lucas on Twitter at @lucasmearian or subscribe to Lucas's RSS feed . His e-mail address is [email protected] .

Read more about networked storage in Computerworld's Networked Storage Topic Center.

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