white paper Using WAN Optimization to support strategic cloud initiatives

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1 Every Cloud should have a Silver Peak Lining Using WAN Optimization to support strategic cloud initiatives

2 Every Cloud should have a Silver Peak Lining Using WAN Optimization to support strategic cloud initiatives Cloud computing is a fairly broad term that is used very liberally. While it often means different things to different people, at the highest level cloud computing involves the delivery of the following hosted services via a shared WAN such as the Internet: Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) - when a hosting provider, like Amazon Web Services, provides virtual servers with unique IP addresses and blocks of storage on demand. Customers benefit from an application programming interface (API) from which they can control their servers, and they have the flexibility to pay for exactly the amount of service they use. 1 Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) - a set of software and development tools hosted on the provider s servers. Developers can create applications using the provider s APIs. 1 Google Apps is one of the more popular PaaS offerings. 1 Software as a Service (SaaS) - a model of software deployment whereby a provider licenses an application to customers for use as a service on demand. SaaS software vendors may host the application on their own web servers (e.g. Salesforce.com) or download the application to an end user device. 1 Irrespective of the type of service deployed, all cloud computing initiatives have one thing in common data is centralized, while users are distributed. This places an increased emphasis on the network, making cloud computing susceptible to the same WAN bandwidth, latency, and quality challenges that impact other enterprise applications. By overcoming these challenges, Silver Peak s WAN optimization is critical to all cloud computing initiatives. Understanding Cloud Computing Challenges Before implementing a cloud service, it is critical to understand the unique impact that WAN performance has on the initiative. Infrastructure services typically involve moving large amounts of data across the WAN. As such, their success is gated by available bandwidth. When these processes must be performed in real-time, distance and WAN quality also play a major role in the success of these projects. New and Emerging Cloud Services ( ) Software-as-a-service (Saa5) Cloud computing susceptible to the same WAN bandwidth, latency, and quality challenges that impact other enterprise applications. Databaseas-a-service Storageas-a-service BP-as-aservice Cloud Labs Cloud billing service Platform-as-a-service (PaaS) Disaster recoveryas-a-service Integrationas-a-service Desktopas-a-service Infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) Source: Forrester (October 2009) 1 2

3 More traditional cloud services, like SAAS, have different network dependencies based on the type of application. Cloud based storage, for example, may not be very latency sensitive but may be bandwidth intensive, while the opposite may be true for real-time database queries. Because all cloud services inherently use shared WANs, packet delivery challenges are a constant problem in these environments. More specifically, IP packets are often dropped or delivered out of order during periods of peak network congestion. This results in packet retransmissions, which lowers effective throughput (and subsequently perceived application performance). Latency sensitive applications will not fare well in these environments. Lastly, it is worth pointing out that as enterprises move to cloud services data migration becomes another significant issue. How do you get all the necessary data into the cloud where it can be easily and rapidly accessible? Disk-to-disk transfers are often the easiest way to accomplish this, but that can take a lot of time and money depending on the volume of data that must be migrated. A Silver Peak Lining WAN optimization is critical to cloud computing because it overcomes the bandwidth, latency and WAN quality issues described above. However, for a WAN optimization solution to be effective, it must address these challenges in real-time, with the scalability required to handle large volumes of traffic. This is Silver Peak s forte. Silver Peak employs real-time network optimization techniques to maximize application performance across the cloud while minimizing IT operational costs. These techniques include: Network Integrity: Silver Peak provides a variety of real-time optimization techniques to clean up the cloud for better effective throughput. Forward Error Correction (FEC) rebuilds lost packets on the far end of a WAN connection, and Packet Order Correction (POC) ensures that all packets are delivered in the order they were sent. Both of these Network Integrity features address packet delivery errors without requiring costly re-transmissions, resulting in maximum application performance across the cloud. Advanced Quality of Service (QoS) services can prioritize traffic and guarantee that necessary bandwidth requirements are met. Silver Peak can honor existing traffic management policies or create new tags that leverage up to 10 different QoS classes within the Silver Peak devices. This makes Silver Peak a perfect complement to QoS policies already implemented by cloud service providers. 3

4 Network Memory. Silver Peak uses Network Memory disk-based deduplication to eliminate the transfer of duplicate information sent across the WAN when cloud-based applications are accessed. Repetitive data is never sent across the WAN, saving bandwidth and enabling LAN-like application performance. The Silver Peak solution has the advantage of performing compression and deduplication on all IP traffic traversing the WAN (storage + other business applications). By having visibility into all the traffic going into and out of a single office, Silver Peak delivers optimal performance when hosted applications share the WAN with other enterprise traffic. Network Acceleration. TCP acceleration helps to overcome latency between source and target locations. By adjusting the TCP window size and performing selective acknowledgements, Silver Peaks Network Acceleration techniques mitigate the impact of latency in long-distance environments. Network Acceleration works on all TCP traffic going across the WAN. In addition, Network Acceleration works in conjunction with Silver Peak s Network Integrity technology. As a result, it is recommended that they be used together when WAN connections are experiencing both high latency and packet loss, as is often common when shared WANs such as the Internet are the underlying network. Data protection. Silver Peak has the option of performing real-time IPSec between appliances to protect data sent across the WAN. In addition, real-time AES encryption is used to protect all data stored on Silver peak devices. This helps to ensure that data always remain secure at rest and in transit across the cloud. Visibility. Silver Peak provides real-time and historical analysis of WAN performance, including detailed reports on bandwidth, latency, and packet loss. With Silver Peak, IT administrators can monitor the performance of all IP traffic traversing the cloud and export key information to third-party systems using NetFlow. This makes Silver Peak s management tools a nice complement to existing WAN analysis capabilities used by cloud service providers. Deploying WAN Optimization in a Cloud Environment Cloud services can be delivered across two types of cloud environments. In a private cloud, access is restricted to specific users (e.g. via a Virtual Private Network). In a public cloud, the hosted service is available to anyone. Both private and public clouds perform in a similar fashion as they are equally susceptible to the same bandwidth, latency, and quality issues. However, it is more difficult to deploy WAN optimization in environments where both ends of the link are not owned by a single entity, as is often the case in public cloud environments. In a private cloud environment it is common for a single entity to own both ends of the WAN link, making it easier to deploy existing WAN optimization solutions in these environments. Today, the vast majority of WAN optimization deployments in support of cloud initiatives involve the placement of a physical WAN optimization appliance on both ends of the network. Below are some examples of how Silver Peak customers are improving application performance and lowering IT costs by doing just that: Google Apps (Platform as a Service). Silver Peak is the global WAN optimization standard for a leading software and search engine company. This company heavily uses Google Apps, which are centrally hosted and managed as a SaaS offering. This makes the company reliant on their WAN for collaboration across hundreds of distributed locations. According to the company s IT department, The dependency on the data center has gone up because we are removing resources from the remote offices. We cannot depend on the carriers to self-police their own networks. We have Silver Peak provides real-time and historical analysis of WAN performance, including detailed reports on bandwidth, latency, and packet loss. 4

5 to assume that the carriers will make mistakes or build networks that do not perform at the expected level. With WAN optimization, we provide a protection mechanism so that if the carrier makes a mistake, we will still get the same good service. There are examples where the network had packet loss in excess of 3%, but we experience none because of forward error correction. They went on to say that, The WAN circuit needs to be reliable. If the burden is on the carriers, we need SLAs, and we need to know when things are going to fail in their environment, in which we have no visibility. With WAN optimization, we are less impacted by what the carrier does. The cloud becomes more reliable. Hosted Microsoft Exchange (Software as a Service). A leading software technology company chose Silver Peak to optimize more than 100 locations worldwide, including 40 development centers in the United States, Europe and Asia. There are more than 70 critical applications that the company s employees actively use across the WAN, including file, , Intranet, Internet, and Sharepoint, as well as core applications like AutoCAD, Revit, and Civil 3d. The company s Microsoft Exchange services are hosted offsite as a cloud offering. All of the company s applications were adversely affected by WAN performance challenges especially during peak periods of WAN usage. As a result, the company deployed Silver Peak NX appliances in all corporate locations and at Microsoft s hosting facilities. The company has subsequently reduced overall WAN traffic by seventy-five percent, while improving the performance of all seventy of the company s critical applications. Most importantly, Silver Peak has eliminated the WAN performance problems that used to disrupt productivity every build season, while saving the company hundreds of thousands of dollars per year in WAN bandwidth expenditures. Hosted Disaster Recovery (Infrastructure as a Service). Silver Peak is the WAN optimization standard for a one of the largest natural gas distributors in the United States. The company has a large network that includes dozens of branch offices with various sized WAN connections, three main customer service centers, and a SunGard hosted disaster recovery service. The company deployed Silver Peak to help with its cloud storage disaster recovery initiative, which involves moving hundred of terabytes of data across a 100 Mbps WAN connection. With Silver Peak deployed in all of the company s locations and at SunGard s disaster recovery facilities, the company is able to maintain a 30 minute RPO using NetApp SnapMirror for real-time replication. More importantly, the company used Silver Peak to avoid a major bandwidth upgrade to the DR facility, saving the company hundreds of thousands of dollars per year in ongoing IT expenditures. Silver Peak provides real-time optimization techniques that maximize WAN performance and lower WAN costs in support of strategic cloud initiatives. The company s unique network-centric approach to WAN optimization delivers maximum scalability while providing the flexibility needed to support all current and emerging applications. With the growth of cloud based services, Silver Peak s value proposition increases further as enterprises are forced to deal with the significant WAN challenges imposed by these initiatives. Silver Peak provides real-time optimization techniques that maximize WAN performance and lower WAN costs in support of strategic cloud initiatives Silver Peak Systems, Inc. All rights reserved. All other brands, products, or service names are or may be trademarks or service marks of, and are used to identify, products or services of their respective owners. 5

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